Bode Miller’s postrace interview with NBC reporter Christina Cooper on Sunday has many Olympics fans and media members crying foul.
Miller, a New Hampshire native, had just won the bronze medal in the super-G at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, becoming the oldest medalist in the history of Olympic alpine skiing.
When approached by Cooper after the event, Miller was asked repeatedly to reference the passing of his brother, Chilly, who died of a seizure last year. The result was a very emotional — and somewhat uncomfortable — exchange.
Here is the transcript of the interview, via For The Win:
Miller: This was a little different. With my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sends it. So this was a little different.
Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?
Miller: (Long pause) A lot, obviously. A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year.
Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games. How much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?
Miller: I mean, I don’t know it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and uh — I don’t know, I guess make myself proud. (Pauses, then wipes away tears.)
Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?
Miller was unable to answer that final question, and Cooper could be heard whispering “sorry” before placing a hand on the skier’s shoulder and walking away. Miller tried to sum up his emotions in a tweet sent later that day.
Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 16, 2014
Many — including The New York Times — were critical of Cooper after the interview, saying she pressed too hard on a topic that clearly was not easy for Miller to talk about. Miller stood up for the interviewer, though, telling people via Twitter to “be gentle” with her.
I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014Filed under: Olympics, Top Stories