Bode Miller won a bronze medal in the men’s super-G at the Sochi Games over the weekend becoming the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history at 36 years old. This is a great storyline and that is what these, and most, Olympics are about.
Bode Miller being the oldest Alpine skier to medal is a story line, but having overcome a tumultuous year is as well. Miller overcame a knee injury to get to this point, and his younger brother Chelone died in April of a seizure.
Christin Cooper is being taken to the wood shed for her post game interview of Miller right after the race. Think back a month, didn’t we deal with an emotional athlete during a post game interview on the field right after the final play?
I know it’s not football but it’s a physical sport, and emotions still run high after you put your life into training for moments like this, much like it did after that final play a few Sunday’s ago that catapulted the Seahawks into the Super Bowl.
Christin Cooper isn’t to blame here; she was taken down this road by Miller’s answer. Cooper’s question was simple, “For a guy who says that medals don’t really matter, that they aren’t the thing, you’ve amassed quite a collection. What does this one mean to you in terms of all the others?”
Miller’s answer; “This was a little different. You know with my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sensed it. This one is different.”
Right there Cooper’s questions about the race go out the window. I know less than nothing about the super-G but Cooper knows the sport and the athletes, she has to or she wouldn’t be there. She also knows to follow up about Miller’s brother. People this is about storylines and Miller diverted it to a different chapter.
People are ripping Cooper about her follow-up and it wasn’t even that bad, “Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here, what’s going through your mind?”
It’s a fair question. Remember we have to assume she did her homework and knew about Miller’s brother and she phrased her question perfect, following Miller down the path he opened up.
I produced the number one morning radio show in Boston for over 15 years, if I were still doing that today I’d had been praying for Miller to cry, let’s be honest it’s a better story/ sound bite. Remember Nancy Kerrigan and her screaming “Why?” I used to use that sound clip all the time.
If Cooper simply passed on Miller’s answer about his brother and asked about the race and what might have gone wrong to keep him from the gold, people would have crushed her on a mountain of issues, not being prepared, just working from a script of questions, but her follow ups and his answers are now badgering?
Again it’s about the story lines, not the sport being played. But in Cooper’s case she was in a lose- lose situation. If she continues “badgering” she gets crushed, if she takes a hard right in her questioning she gets killed for a bad follow-up.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, let’s not crush Christin Cooper for simply doing her job.