ADELBODEN, Switzerland (AP) — Two-time overall World Cup champion Bode Miller will try to earn a spot in the Olympic giant slalom when he returns to racing on Saturday after a three-week injury break.
United States ski coach Sasha Rearick said on Friday that Miller landed in Zurich the previous day after spending the holidays in California with his ankle swollen by the long-haul journey.
“I feel bad. When we changed his ticket we couldn’t give him the greatest seat,” Rearick told The Associated Press.
“That’s been tough on him, but he’s a competitor. He’s not going to make any excuses. He feels fresh, he’s fired up on how he feels on the skis. He’s going to go out and ski hard like he always does.”
Miller returns at Adelboden in the Swiss village’s historic giant slalom — the final World Cup race in the discipline before a Jan. 25 selection deadline for the U.S. alpine ski team.
He already has race results to earn his selection in downhill and super-G at the Vancouver Winter Games from Feb. 12-28.
Aside from Ted Ligety, the 2008 World Cup GS champion and a world championships bronze medalist last season, no other American man has scored a top-10 finish in the four World Cup races so far to meet the selection standard.
Rearick said Miller is determined to nail his GS selection on the course without relying on a coaches’ decision to award him the Olympic place in GS.
“He doesn’t want to go that way probably, but I’m not going to say if that’s the way we’re going to go or not,” Rearick said. “We’re going to let (Saturday) play out and see what goes on.”