Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM ET
When it came to U.S. skier Bode Miller's disappointing eighth-place finish in the downhill event in Sochi, TODAY Olympic analyst and fellow star skier Lindsey Vonn said it was the little things that made the difference.
"I thought Bode had an amazing run, especially on the top,'' Vonn said on TODAY Monday. "He really executed things well. He didn't seem nervous. Normally if you're nervous right out of the gate, you won't ski well, but Bode came out of the gate charging.
"He just made a few small mistakes that ended up costing him time, and I bet that he didn't even know that he made mistakes while he was skiing, it was so slight."
Miller entered the event as a medal favorite, but finished .42 of a second away from making it to the podium.
"There were so many expectations on him in the downhill,'' Vonn said. "I think he's gotten this performance out of the way. He's going to be more excited, more motivated to keep pushing himself in the next few events. He has a chance to get a medal in three more events, so he's got plenty more chances."
Another U.S. Olympian dealing with adversity is moguls skier Heidi Kloser, 21, who suffered a broken leg during training a day before the Opening Ceremony was held last week. She walked on crutches during the Opening Ceremony and openly questioned whether she is considered an Olympian because she was injured before even being able to compete in her event.
"Of course she's an Olympian,'' Vonn said. "The hardest thing to do is just to qualify for the Olympics. I thought it was really amazing that she walked in the Opening Ceremony. She deserved to be there, she is an Olympian, and she's going to be back. She's so young, she'll be back in the next four years."