Former Olympic medalist and World Cup champion Bode Miller is leaving the US Ski Team, ending his contentious relationship with the federation that oversees the sport in this country.
The New Hampshire skier has been at odds with the association for years, and there had long been rumblings that he would leave the team. US officials have been unhappy with Miller's late-night partying and his outlandish public comments.
The 29-year-old Miller won two silver medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, but was shut out at the 2006 Turin Games despite being a favorite in nearly every Alpine discipline. He was criticized for spending too much time in local clubs.
Miller told coach Phil McNichol of his decision to leave the team following a meeting at the headquarters of the US Ski and Snowboard Association last week.
"Bode is a great athlete and we hope he will continue to have athletic success," US Alpine director Jesse Hunt said in a statement released yesterday. "We had a serious discussion with Bode about his responsibilities as a team member, and he later advised us he was choosing not to join the team."
Miller still could compete at the Olympics and other major international competitions, but has said it's doubtful he'll be racing at the time of the 2010 Vancouver Games and that, even if he is still competing, he would not take part in another Olympics.
In an interview last month, Miller criticized the association for not coming to his defense at the Turin Olympics.
"Everybody parties," Miller said. "There's too much emphasis on winning."