American earns silver in men's combined ski event; gives U.S. its 10th medal

Thursday, February 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SNOWBASIN, Utah (AP) _ Bode Miller, an American slalom skiier who is being compared to some of the sport's all-time greats, won the silver in the men's combined event to give the United States its 10th medal of the Winter Olympics.

After a harrowing brush with disaster in his downhill and a mistake-prone first slalom run, Miller blew away the rest of the field by an amazing 1.18 seconds during his second slalom run. The combined event is a downhill followed by two slaloms.

``It was a great run, that's what I was going for in a second run,'' said Miller, 24.

Miller became the first American in eight years to win an Alpine skiing medal. He is also now the first American man to win an Olympic medal in the combined.

The United States had 10 medals after Miller's second-place finish behind Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway and was on pace to have one of its best Winter Olympics ever. In the medal race, the United States trailed only Germany, which had 12.

Miller's performance reinforced him as the favorite for the slalom, the last Alpine event of the game.

``This just legitimizes where he's at,'' U.S. men's slalom and giant slalom coach Jesse Hunt said. ``He's the fastest slalom skier in the world.''