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How Bode Miller Ignored His Critics and Won Gold | Inc.

How Bode Miller Ignored His Critics and Won Gold | Inc.

– Skiing was the only objective, solo sport that I could
find that I really loved. I could look terrible, I
could do whatever I wanted, and as long as I was the fastest, nobody got to tell me I
was 3rd place or 5th place. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] Bode
miller is really flyin’. – Self-assured, confident, and one-zone abilities or character. (upbeat music) I made the U.S. Ski Team right out of high school, so when I was 18. I got one start in the
beginning of that 97-98 season in Park City, Utah, and I started
second to last in the race and skied true to who I was at that time, and ended up qualifying, you know, finished 23rd the first
run, which was a shock, and I had to deal with our CEO at the time and the older racers just
going into complete panic. You know, telling me to just like snowplow down the second run, make sure I finished because they all thought I was gonna crash in the second run. And I went out and skied
absolutely insane the second run, and finished 11th in my
first World Cup race. It set a tone, I think it was important for everyone else to see the
way that I dealt with pressure and the way that I wanted
to be as a ski-racer. – [Announcer] Now watch this man, he has perhaps the most
unorthodox style and technique. (upbeat music) – I think my technique
was always the weak spot. Ya know in ski-racing,
technique only matters in terms of how it affects your ability to navigate the course. – [Announcer] And here comes Bode Miller. Looking for victory number
two on the World Cup Tour! Bode Miller! – I was sacrificing, basically being able to look a certain way or
maintain certain body positions because I was trying to go faster and I thought that was a
pretty obvious trade off. To maintain an edge I would get rotated, my hands, my arms flailed around a lot, because just like you’d see
somebody on a tight rope, or a balance beam or anything else, you know, you use your arms for balance. I won the overall in 2005
and I won eight races and it was the year that propelled me to the very front of World Cup. I’d already been the
guy, I’d been you know, taking most the media pressure and heat for years before that but that was where it really kinda
got narrow at the top. – [Announcer] Well here’s Bode making his usual exit avoiding the media. The media had worn on
me a lot at that point, I didn’t have the right skills to be able to process things real time. (announcers yelling) – [Announcer] Oh no,
and Bode miller is down! – I would say that was the
low point in my whole career. The more you’re in the top, the more you’re in the
spotlight, the harder it is to maintain you know that self-assured, self-reliant system. It just, you get pressure from everywhere and you get crushed by your
emotions and all that stuff. And that was certainly a point where with all that pressure,
I had to look inside and had to figure out how
I was gonna deal with it, cuz it wasn’t gonna go away on it’s own. (upbeat music) I felt like I was on a train and that, you know I was the engine
of the train maybe, or maybe I was the
caboose and there was just all this mass going along
with me, and the momentum was so strong that I
just needed to get off. Away from it, I realized
that there was still stuff that I had to offer and things
that I wanted to accomplish. (airy music) I decided I was gonna go
for the 2010 Olympics. (upbeat music) If you look at my slalom
performances leading up to that, I’d been crashing all the time, my slalom was garbage at the
time, my skis were terrible. In that slalom, it was
more like a reflecting back on that very first World Cup
I’d had 13 years earlier, and that was the same approach. It was like look, here’s
what I have to do to this is the moment, I needed
to go absolutely 100 percent and take huge risk and
make sure I executed. When I came across the line, it was another sort of moment
like that first World Cup where I was like, “Yep, that’s it”. – [Announcer] Bode Miller has the gold! – That’s why I’m able to do it, is because at that moment I
focus on nothing else, but that. (upbeat music) I think being self-assured in my career was ultimately one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. (upbeat music)

4 thoughts on “How Bode Miller Ignored His Critics and Won Gold | Inc.”

  1. His downtime must have been incredibly painful because facial expressions still reflect the pressure he felt. His journey is incredibly inspiring. To understand that what others expect of you must come behind how you feel you can contribute is a wonderful lesson many of us need to hear. As a pro speaker, I personally relate to his realization that success at the moment comes from being yourself, taking risks, and developing the ability to be so focused that extraneous thoughts fall to the periphery. Great job #Inc

  2. Watch more incredible stories from those who have climbed to the peak of their competitive fields here:

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