Bode Miller’s tearful interview just the ‘overwrought emotional sensibility’ of Olympics

Feb 17, 2014, 12:47 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm
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“That was uncomfortable to watch.”

That’s the reaction from 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neil after he saw an interview with Bode Miller on NBC Sports.

The interview was conducted after Miller won a bronze medal in the men’s super-G ski race, and NBC reporter Christin Cooper redirected her line of questioning to the passing of his younger brother.

Miller was clearly emotional and began crying during the interview.

Part of the problem with the questions, Danny tells the Morning News on KIRO Radio, is that there’s not much explanation as to why he’s so emotional.

“He talks about it (winning the medal) being for himself. It’s maybe his last medal in a pretty prolific Olympic career and it was a pretty poignant moment,” says Danny. “For whatever reason, they went back to that subject so many times.”

Many are criticizing Cooper, saying she pressed him for a reaction because she was trying to create an emotional moment.

While Danny says the interview did seem heavy-handed, there is also the pressure of how the “overwrought sensibility of the Olympics” get packaged: to make it more than about the athletic achievement.

Bode Miller took to Twitter on Monday to defend Cooper.

The moment also drew backlash on NBC, which aired the full tape-delayed interview in primetime in the United States several hours later. Miller retweeted another Twitter user who said, “agreed, Bode. It wasn’t her Cooper’s) fault. It was the fault of @NBCOlympics producers. She was being told what to ask.”

“An interview is a fundamentally strange exchange. It’s not a conversation,” says Danny. “She was poking at a subject that he would prefer not to talk about on camera.”

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Bode Miller’s tearful interview just the ‘overwrought emotional sensibility’ of Olympics