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Bode Miller’s sport off the slopes? Bowling!

The skiing star shows ‘Today’ host Matt Lauer some tricky moves on the lanes, and reveals a few skiing secrets.
/ Source: TODAY

When skiier Bode Miller isn’t on the slopes, he likes to bowl. It’s one of the few sports, he points out, where the players can eat, drink, and wear funky shoes. “Today” show host Matt Lauer catches up with Miller at a bowling alley and learns some surprising things about his style when not racing down a mountain.

Matt Lauer: So where did this love of bowling come from?

Bode Miller: Oh, I love all sports, but bowling is social. You can drink. You get the good food, the cool shoes.

Lauer: The good food? The nachos and the hotdogs and things like that?

Miller: At least some part of food has to be measured by enjoyment. So I enjoy the food at bowling alleys as much as anywhere else.Before we could get started we needed proper gear, so we both put on some very stylish shoes. I was a little nervous going head-to-head with such a great athlete, even if it was just bowling. Would he strike me down, or spare me total embarrassment?

Lauer: How important is the competition? When you bowl do you bowl to win? 

Miller: In general, I don't. I'm very much less concerned with victory or with the end results than most athletes are. Most athletes are really competitive with other people. If it’s going to enhance the experience, I'll do it. But for the most part, I just don't. I don't really care.Phew! That was a relief. Still ... when he actually bowled, I was shocked by what I saw.

Lauer: See, I kind of pictured you as much more of a power bowler. That was a little wimpy, actually.

Miller: I throw it pretty soft. It's a finesse game.

Lauer: You really do. That's means that I can do the same thing.The pressure was totally off me...

Lauer: Oh, that's dead.

Miller: Oh, that's a bad throw.

Lauer: That's terrible. That's the second time in a row I've hit one pin.

Both of us quickly realized we'd be bowling closer to 30 than a perfect game of 300. Then Bode figured out what the problem was ... the shoes ... they're too sticky!

Miller: If you were to come in and commit to it like a real bowler... You come in and go whooo… Whaaa!

All this talk of footwear reminded me to ask Bode about his ski boots.

Lauer: I was reading that the ski boots you wear are like three sizes too small.

Miller: I'm a 12 and I wear an 8.

Lauer: Why? Doesn't that hurt?

Miller: The way the boot works, where the hinges are, the smaller the boot the more leverage you have over the top of it and the more performance you get out of it.

Lauer: So your toes aren't jammed up in there, they're actually straight?

Miller: Not so much. They're crunched up, but they're not folded over. You lose balance when you fold your toes over. They're just retracted in, they're kind of pulled up.

Lauer: Is that something all top-level skiers do?

Miller: I think it’s different. Different guys have different approaches.Speaking of approaches...

Lauer: You going to take the full approach here?

Miller: Yeah.

Lauer: There's a little fire in that one. Little more what I expected from Bode Miller.

We each had a moment worthy of the Olympic highlight reel.

Miller: Look at that!

Although I knew our antics at the bowling alley wouldn't be front page news, there was one final question I had to ask.
Lauer: If you could write the headline at the end of the Olympics, in terms of your performance, what would that headline say?

Miller: Regardless of whether I win or not, I hope that people can somehow be inspired by my performance.