To Winter Olympics naysayers, there is no bigger symbol of the event's waste and piffle than Bode Miller, the much hyped U.S. skier who was on the cover of seemingly every national magazine yet came away from the Games without a single medal. Hell, he barely even finished a race.
This has led to a disproportionate amount of glee among observers, particularly those who have been eager to heap scorn upon the whole Olympic enterprise. And, to be sure, we were as exhausted by all the Join Bode garbage as anyone; our personal most loathsome moment was when NBC trotted out Robert Redford to discuss Bode's laconic status in relation to his own.
But we think it's important to separate Bode Miller the Movement from Bode Miller the person. If you hadn't noticed, Miller has kind of been blanching under all the attention in the first place; a guy who was such labeled a "rebel" responded by not giving much a darn about anything. Every interview he gave pretty much struck the "hey, I'm just here trying to have a good time" tone. In fact, with his now-famous "I was Olympically active" comment, Miller says exactly what we would want an athlete to say, if we weren't predisposed to hate him because of his sponsorships: I'm competing to win, but jeez, isn't the point to have fun? Take away the Nike contract and magazine covers, and we would probably like Bode. We're a lot more like him than we might like to think.