MY SKI RACING HEROS. BY PETER MILLER.
by Peter Miller
For 20 years I was an editor and photographer for Ski Magazine. Visited 104 ski resorts on four continents. Won a Lifetime of Ski Journalism award from the ISHA. Wrote a book in 1972 about the Americans on the World cup in Europe called The 30,000 Mile Ski Race. I have always followed alpine racing.
I have three major ski racing heros: Marvin Moriarty, a neighbor who raced in the 1950’s and at 16 was on the US Olympic Team; Bud Werner who I met in 1957 in St. Anton when he was on crutches, from a spill in a race and Bode Miller, who I never met but have closely followed.
All three were super athletes, way beyond the ability of the average World Cup racer. They had desire at an early age. Marvin’s first bindings were made from used Mason jar rings his grandmother gave him. Then the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol took him up to the big mountain and gave Marvin the chance to fly.
They trained super hard and mostly by themselves or outside the circle of the ski team. In Europe, Marvin sharpened his racing skills from the Austrian ski team, which he trained with. He won some races by five seconds. Bode trained with a few close friends and relatives.
All three were very independent and did not all the time agree with their coaches
They went for broke on every race, for they did not race politically or for points, they raced to win, to better their own record. So yeah, they crashed often and broke bones.
They are or were magnetic personalities. They skied with excitement and elan and as individuals. On the other hand, Killy had a support group that meticulously prepared him for every race with the care given to a major battle plan. The French coach Honore Bonnet was a psychological genius for bringing the best out of his racers at the right time—just look at the 1968 Olympics. The only other racer that I observed that skied with the go for broke attack on the course was the American slalomist Tyler Palmer and the Austrian downhiller Franz Klammer.
They are super skiers and competitors and human beings and they are my heros.