U.S. ski team will welcome Bode back

Updated: March 6, 2006, 4:04 PM ET
Associated Press

ASPEN, Colo. -- Bode Miller may have been a flop at the Torino Olympics, but he'll be welcome back on the U.S. Ski Team next season, speed coach John McBride said.

"I'd say for sure the team wants to have Bode Miller involved with it," McBride told the Aspen Daily News for Monday's editions.

Despite high expectations, Miller failed to win a single medal in Torino, and his reputation for partying rivaled his reputation for skiing. "It's been an awesome two weeks," he said at one point. "I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level."

McBride said some of the media attention Miller got was unfair.

"What he does outside of the team to a certain extent is his business when it doesn't reflect poorly on the team," he said. "There were times when he said things that weren't appropriate and times when he said things that were taken out of context and made to look inappropriate."

McBride said the team needs to figure out how it and Bode can work together best.

McBride, 41, said he may not return for another season but hasn't made his decision.

"The main thing is I have two young daughters," he said. "The family takes a back seat when you put your heart and soul in [coaching]. For me, that's going to change. I'm going to figure out a way for me to be with my family."

McBride said he was optimistic about the team's future. With veteran Daron Rahlves getting ready to retire after three Olympics and Miller performing unpredictably, more responsibility will shift to younger skiers such as Ted Ligety, who won gold in the combined at Torino.

"There's young guys on both the speed and technical sides who are really starting to roll," McBride said.

Scott McCartney finished seventh in the super G, Steve Nyman was 11th in the combined and Christopher Beckman, who won the 2006 Junior World Championships, is an automatic qualifier for the World Cup alpine finals this month in Sweden.

"These are young guys you are going to see in the future," McBride said. "They are extremely committed and did a real good job."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press