Olympics: Family tragedy spurs ageless Miller

Bode Miller's emotions spilled over on Sunday when he became the oldest Olympic alpine skiing medallist less than a year after his professional snowboarding brother Chelone died.

Chelone Miller was found dead after an apparent seizure in April last year and the emotion was etched across Bode's tearful face as he clung on for bronze in a super-G race won by Norway's Kjetil Jansrud.

"Thanks for all the support. Today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother," tweeted Miller, who is 36 years and 127 days old.

"It's a really big day for me emotionally. It's been such a tough two years, with my brother passing away and all the injuries," he said.

"With how close everything has been, it's just I'm just finally getting a little luck and a break today. The skiing for me is not the emotional part, it's just all the rest. This year has been crazy."

Miller added: "Losing my brother last year was really hard for myself, my family. I've been a focal point for them over the years with my racing, it was just a lot of emotion to have things go as well today as they did.

"I'm still very fortunate to come out with a medal. Everything felt pretty raw and pretty connected for me."

Chelone Miller's death stemmed from a 2005 motorcycle accident that left him in a coma for 11 days, according to US Snowboarding.

Miller's bronze was his sixth in alpine skiing. He had previously won one gold (combined 2010), three silvers (super-G 2010; combined and giant slalom, 2002) and one bronze (downhill 2010).

Norwegian legend Kjetil Andre Aamodt is the only man with more Olympic medals in the sport, with eight. He won his last super-G gold in 2006 when he was 34 years and 169 days old, the previous record for oldest medal winner.

- 'I'm old', says Miller -

When Miller asked what it was like to be compared to Aamodt, he replied: "It means I'm old!"

But there was no shortage of support for the "ageing" Miller from fellow skiers, who doubted whether the American would call it a day.

"I'm not surprised he's on the podium," said Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal. "Bode's a great skier, six months this way or six months that way, I don't see how that makes a difference."

Miller's teammate Ted Ligety added: "It's awesome to see Bode get another medal. You know he has that kind of speed. His speed this year has always been there.

"It's great to see him actually pull through and get another medal. It's not a surprise.

"He's not that old actually, I mean (Swiss downhill legend Didier) Cuche was a little bit older and still winning.

"In today's day and age athletes can go longer and longer and it's great to see him out there still being competitive and pushing himself."

Italian Christof Innerhofer hailed Miller as one of alpine skiing's biggest names, whom crowds loved to watch.

"Bode, I don't understand if he's happy or not," Innerhofer deadpanned. "He wants to win, he wants to be the first. I must say I'm really happy for him that he's among the medals.

"After the great training runs in the downhill, he deserved this medal. Bode is a big name, for me it's the biggest name in the World Cup events, win or lose.

"Bode's famous for his crazy skiing, everybody likes to see him because you never know what will be coming the next second."

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