As the Olympics are coming to a close, I find myself going over the biggest moments. The American hockey team defeating the Soviets, having three American Downhill skiers on the podium at once and a new Champion of the half pipe.
There is one moment specifically my mind keeps repeating. Each time I think about it, I get angry. It’s regarding Bode Miller.
The Sochi Olympics is Alpine skier Bode Miller’s third and final Olympics. At thirty-six years old, he is the oldest Olympian to participate in Alpine skiing. Already having multiple medals from former Olympics, medaling in his last Olympics is how he wanted to end things. Preferably, with a Gold.
The last year has been personally challenging for Bode and his family. Nine months ago, Bode’s younger brother, a future Olympian himself, died due to a seizure from a long ago motorcycle accident.
Bode had just won the Bronze medal in the Alpine Skiing Men’s Super G, making him the oldest Olympian to medal in Alpine Skiing. A phenomenal achievement and a great way to say goodbye to Olympic competition.
When it came time for reporter Christin Cooper to interview him, he was still breathing heavy from just finishing his event. A teammate, who had captured the Silver medal in the same event, was standing next to Bode.
Ms. Cooper asked the Silver medalist a few questions and congratulated him. Her time with him was very brief. Then she turned to Bode.
After asking a few questions regarding his event performance and congratulating him, she got personal. Too personal in my opinion.
She asked Bode if his brother, who had only passed away that year, was with him today. Of course Bode said he was and shared a few lovely words about his brother. But he kept it short, and it was pretty clear to see he did not wish to elaborate his feelings.
Not good enough for Ms. Cooper. She kept pushing and pushing and pushing with questions regarding his brother until Bodie Miller started to cry, walked away and collapsed on his knees.
As she kept pushing, I couldn’t believe what I was watching. This man had just become the oldest Olympian to medal in Alpine skiing and the Silver medalist, also an American, was standing right next to Bode. This reporter couldn’t find anything else to ask either of them about?!
I could feel this reporter was going to push Bode until she got what she wanted… A breakdown. Bravo, Ms. Cooper… You succeeded. I hope Ms. Cooper got the reaction she wanted regarding this interview from the rest of the world.
When asked about the interview the following day, Bode showed he was a true Champion. He said he understood why she asked what she did, and did not want her to get any flack from it.
Olympic athletes and many times their family members, have worked and sacrificed for decades for a chance to make the Olympic team. Reporters should have the respect and downright common decency to focus on praising the Olympian’s achievements and nothing else, unless the athlete offers it.
I am aware Ms. Cooper’s interview with Bode Miller is getting much criticism about her professionalism. Regardless of Bode’s gracious words, I hope she apologizes, privately, instead of publicly, to Bode and his family.