Bode Miller, on the meaning of winning his sixth medal in five Winter Games:
"Today was a little bit different. Performance analysis, from that standpoint, it definitely was worse, I would say, than any of the other five medals I've won. Maybe most similar to the combined [event] in Salt Lake where I just had a bunch of catastrophic mistakes, big issues and ended up battling through them. Today was in a much more compressed time frame. But when you combine it with earlier in this Olympics, training runs where I was skiing really fast, the adaptation into the downhill [race] where I felt like I had a great chance to win, and didn't make any of the right adjustments, and ended up missing an opportunity in the combined ... today was one of those struggles, emotionally, it felt like a real struggle. I could have gotten a medal today a lot easier, in a way, if I just skied the way I've been skiing, or if my abilities matched up with the circumstances better. But the way it was definitely was a fight, so in a way it is a little bit of a special kind of achievement."
Andrew Weibrecht, on significance of his medal:
"I was definitely disappointed when there was the draw last night and I drew such a low number. I was really hoping for that [position in the] top seven, based on how the conditions have been and how the races have gone through the whole Games, the downhill and combined, everything seemed to slow down toward the end. To get [bib No.] 29, I was definitely bummed for a couple minutes and just made a resolution to myself that I wasn't going to let it affect my performance.
"I came through [the finish] and it's the first race that had a run that I thought was really good in a long time. Before I looked at my time, I took a moment to appreciate that -- win, lose or indifferent, I knew I'd skied the best run I could. Then I heard people screaming and it was really loud. I found the scoreboard and saw the second next to my name and I was like, 'oh man,' I kind of had to do a double take. It was a really emotional race for me. What I've been through in last four years physically trying to rebuild has been a really difficult process for me as an athlete. This is an affirmation of all the work I've done and the resolve to to try to come back from all this stuff. It was pretty special."
Miller, on being the oldest alpine skier to ever win an Olympic medal:
"I'm at the age now where they're almost simultaneous, where you start thinking about your legacy and some records and things like that as you're still trying to make them. For the most part, I've just gone through my career basically enjoying the time I have and trying to win races. My wife and I were making some jokes about making some trophies. This is going to be a great one. I'm gonna have a picture of me with a big white beard on, a cane maybe, all crinkly-old and a bunch of medals.
"I'm happy to still be kicking around. But on days like today, it's bittersweet too, because like I said, I'm still very close to the top of my game, and the skiing I put down today is less than what I'm capable of for sure, as it has been the previous three races. It's part of life and part of ski racing. It's rare that you get to put down your best skiing when it matters the most, but its obviously what I'm hoping for.
"I think I'm just a late bloomer. ... I know a lot of ex ski racers who still have the hunger and still have the desire, but their body just won't hold up. It's such a brutal sport and the injuries are so extreme. Andrew is built like a brick and he has still dealt with massive injuries. With my style and my tactics, I've had to deal with a lot of wear and tear on my body. I'm really happy I'm still able to enjoy skiing and sports and my life. ... The training beats you up twice as bad as the racing and this year I came in really fit."
Weibrecht on the inevitability of injury:
"I didn't really think I could get injured until I did get injured, and then one thing went and another thing went and another thing went. That wasn't even part of my thinking when I was younger. Then all of a sudden once you go through it, it becomes an obstacle.
"One of biggest challenges [in getting back to an elite level] is blocking out that potential for injury after having dealt with it a lot in a short period of time."
Miller on same question:
"In skiing, if you back off, if you ski a little more tentative, you're almost more likely to get hurt once you have one injury. If you ski like you're invincible, a lot of times you stay invincible. I'm maybe dumb enough, or maybe I have a bad enough short-term memory, that I can keep convincing myself I'm invincible even if I'm ancient and had had a lot of injuries."
Weibrecht on his emotions at the finish:
"There have been a lot of trials and tribulations for me the last couple years, with two shoulder surgeries and two ankle surgeries and various other things going on. ... So to come down through the finish and have the run I knew I could have but haven't been able to do in a long time, it was a great feeling. I've had no trouble being fast in training the last couple years. Mentally, I haven't really put it all together in a race, and that's the key -- nobody really cares about training. Honestly coming into this I started skiing pretty well the last few weeks and got an opportunity two weeks ago, Ted [Ligety] and I were training together, I changed equipment and all of a sudden found a lot of speed and consistency I hadn't had previously, and it made it so that I was able to ski a little bit safer, not take as much risk and still have more speed. I felt coming in here that things were on the up-and-up and this was a nice confirmation."
Miller on same question:
"I've been to a lot of different major championships and Olympics, and this was a little bit different. I was coming off a [knee] injury - I'd never really had an injury like that before, took a year off, and at this point in my career it was one of those injuries that certainly could have been the end of my career, and I was ready for that. If my knee hadn't recovered, I would have walked away happy and would have just moved on. But my knee came back and I was willing to do the work. But When you do that kind of a process, coming back through, you have a lot of time to reflect and at the same time look forward and anticipate. I wanted to come in here and race in a way that I would be proud of.
"The first couple races were challenging in ways I didn't expect, even with my experience. And to compound that with the last year, losing my brother was really hard and attached emotion to this. He wanted to come to these Games and I thought he would probably have a chance at making it. For him to pass away the way he did really sort of connected with my journey coming back ,and today I felt like that was all very connected and very raw and emotional for me. In the finish it all kind of came out.
Miller on "salvaging" a medal even though he didn't ski at his best:
"When you get older you always have those moments when you just want to quit. Things don't go your way, and you want to just have a fit or quit or walk away... I feel really comfortable with what I've accomplished. It's a scary process to put yourself out there again when you have that resume and people expect the best, and every time you're out there, you're really hanging it out. Salvaging? I think it's just competing. Everyone is going as hard as they can, they're all trying to do what we think is best to win medals. Today was disappointing on the one end that I didn't ski better, but under the circumstances, it's a miracle I skied the way I did and I'm absolutely happy with it."
Miller on his "regret-reward ratio" and what more he wants to accomplish in the sport:
"In terms of goals, moving forward, I'm not far off of the best I've ever skied right now, and that's across the board. Slalom is the only one where its pretty suspect, and I think that's probably mostly my fault, but also our equipment is pretty volatile. If we have the right circumstances, the right conditions, I have the potential to even be pretty fast in slalom still too. My goal is to ski the way I can. It's pretty demanding, I've learned over the years that I have to be willing to accept the regret, like you said.
"In conditions like this, I would probably get the best results if I skied 80 percent, 75 percent, because the mistakes I make are so costly and dropping off that 25 percent really doesn't cost me that much. But emotionally, it's brutal. I feel terrible when I ski that way. So I just simply refuse to do it, and then by going 100 percent in less than ideal conditions that don't really suit my style very well, I wind up making a lot of stupid mistakes, and costing myself, in some cases, some really important races and results and medals.
"It's 400 and -- I don't know what it is, 430 World Cups or something -- and I've regretted probably three-quarters of those. But the ones where you stick it are incredible. The run I stuck at the bottom of Wengen in the World Cup was one of most important moments in my life. Similar to Salt Lake City in the combined, the last run of slalom, I was ready to quit, it had been a brutal day, I kept making mistakes and I was skiing the fastest slalom in the world and I came down the first run and made a bunch of mistakes and was still way behind. The agony I saw on everyone else's faces, and the way I was feeling, and the commentator was salt in an open wound. And then to ski the last run that I did it.
"It's unfortunate that the ratio isn't a little bit more friendly, like 50-50 or 80-20 in favor, but at the end of the day, I don't make up the ratios, I deal with the consequences and I'm pretty happy with skiing the way I do. I'll always enjoy and love skiing. Don't know if I'll find my way back to it coaching or something. I'm gonna coach horses, I think.''
Weibrecht on where he got the motivation to keep going:
"There's been a lot of times, especially since Vancouver, where I went from super high to ... beat down generally. To have the support system I have, my wife and my family, that's the stuff that ultimately in a large way helps me keep going. I've had some great coaches that have believed in me, but sometimes it's pretty difficult to really say, 'I'm gonna go four more years,' and then just get beat down for three of them and have one good year. And by one good year, that means that you had maybe two good races. That's a tough ratio to deal with.
"That's one thing people don't truly appreciate about ski racing. Even a guy like Bode, he's had a good season this year, and he's not won any races. He's been on the podium a couple times and that's a great season. Its kind of the essence of ski racing, is that you've gotta really learn how to manage disappointment. Every once in a while something really positive happens and it kind of keeps you going."