Bode Miller's historic bronze medal in Sunday’s super-G at the Sochi Winter Olympics was tainted following a sensitive interview by NBC's Christin Cooper.
Miller had become the oldest medalist in Olympic alpine skiing history, and was asked how his sixth Winter Games medal felt different from the rest.
Overcome with emotion, Miller talked about his younger brother Chilly, who died last year of an apparent seizure.
Miller: This was a little different. With my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sends it. So this was a little different.
Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?
Miller: [Long pause] A lot, obviously. A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year.
Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?
Miller: I mean, I don’t know it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and uh — I don’t know, I guess make my self proud. [Miller pauses and wipes away tears.]
Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?
Miller then collapsed to his knees and leant against the fence which separated the athletes from the media. Cooper whispered “sorry” and gently put her hand on Miller’s shoulder.
Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 16, 2014
I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014