Samuel Bode Miller, an American alpine ski racer, Olympic gold medalist, and world champion gold medalist, was born and raised in New Hampshire ski country. His parents, Jo Kenney and Woody Miller, believed in an all-natural upbringing for their children. Miller and his siblings, sister Wren and brother Chelone, grew up on 450 acres of forested land. Their home was a log cabin, lacking electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing.
Miller's parents embraced a pagan lifestyle, celebrating the soltices and homeschooling their children. Despite their apparent eccentricities, his parents were more mainstream in their professional life. They founded and owned the Tamarack Tennis Camp, where Miller and his siblings learned to play tennis and soccer. Miller received his education at home until he entered fourth grade, which was when his parents divorced.
As a teen he was awarded a scholarship to the Carrabassett Valley Academy, a school which allowed him to continue his academic studies as well as pursue his love of ski racing. Perhaps it was the freedom of expression instilled in him as a child that drew large numbers of fans when he hit the professional ski scene in 1996. He was eighteen years old at the time, and his free-wheeling, daring style on the slopes gained him much attention and a large following of supporters.
While he first appeared in the 1998 World Cup, he was also on the Olympic team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, competing in the two most challenging categories of giant slalom and slalom. He continued over the next several years to perform well, earning two silver medals in the 2002 Olympics. In 2003 he placed second in the World Cup competition, but won two World Cup titles (giant slalom and combined). He won his first overall World Cup title in 2005, though high expectations for a big win in the 2006 Winter Olympics ended in a disappointing fifth place. Things did not get much better and he later claimed that the 2008 season was his worst ever.
Rumors that he was suffering from burnout swirled around his attempts to reclaim his spot as the number one skier in the US. Indeed, he hinted in 2009 that "the fire goes away after a while." Fans worried he was suggesting retirement. However, he made an impressive comeback at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where he won a bronze medal for the downhill. Next he won a silver medal in the Super G, which made four Olympic medals total, more than any other American Alpine skier. Right on the heels of the silver, he won Olympic gold for the super combined.
Ankle injuries prevented him from remaining in Olympic competition, but it was quite clear he had proven the burnout rumors false. Miller is author of an autobiography, Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun (2005).Miller, at age 32, remains single, but is father to daughter Neesyn Dacey, born 2008.