It's a beautiful day on the slopes at Cannon Mountain, the hometown hill for skiing legend Bode Miller. And on this Presidents Day, skiers and riders are celebrating his bronze medal performance in the Super G at Sochi.
"I'm just proud of him and proud that I go to this mountain that he goes to," said Peter Fulwiler of Cambridge, Mass.
Miller's connection to this area is hard to miss. Whether it's the annual "Bodefest" event at Cannon with the skier or the five other Olympic medals he holds on display here. His sixth solidifies him in the history books, making him the oldest Alpine skier to ever medal in the Olympics.
"Thirty-three World Cup wins, six World Cup titles, two overall World Cup titles and now six Olympic medals-- it is pretty amazing. And he grew up right down the street," said J.D. DeVivo of Cannon Mountain.
"I think that is amazing, after his brother just passed, it's so great how he just won the bronze," said Charlie Lavalley of Brookline, Mass.
But it was the sudden death of his brother, Chelone, last April, that sparked controversy after Bode's bronze finish Sunday. An NBC reporter pushed Miller about missing his brother in the post-race interview, eventually bringing the fierce competitor to tears.
"I was a little taken back by the interview," DeVivo said. "I thought that the gal had beaten him up a little bit."
The interview caused an uproar on social media, fans taking direct shots at the reporter and demanding apologies from the network. But if you ask skiers on this mountain, many who have met Miller in person, the opinions about the interview vary. Miller himself published a tweet Monday morning saying his breakdown was not the reporter's fault.
"To make a story interesting you got to do what you got to do. People like to see like tough guys like Bode Miller cry," Fulwiler said.
"They really pushed him a little bit, but it is good to see him winning," said Sam Fulwiler, a fan of Bode Miller.
I spoke with Bode's mom, Jo Miller, Monday afternoon. She declined to speak on camera but says she has spoken with her son and he is doing just fine. She says that people are trying to protect the skier, but Bode can take care of himself. Something he proves time and time again on the ski course, winning and continuing to inspire young athletes who are using his training ground as their own.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: What's your dream?
Charlie Lavalley: To win a medal in the Olympics for ski racing.
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