Most folks take up a quiet hobby when they retire — like, you know, horse racing, for this Olympic gold-medalist skier.
Called the most successful male American alpine skier of all time, Bode Miller has an impressive list of victories: 33 wins in the World cup, including all five ski disciplines, four World Championship titles, and six Winter Olympic medals (the most of any U.S. skier ever). By anyone’s reckoning, the man has earned himself retirement with grace and dignity from the rigorous and intense sport of competitive skiing. Bode could probably be a professional ski bum and no one would judge him for his life choices. But Bode Miller has his sights set on another highly-competitive field: training thoroughbred race horses.
It’s an idea he’s been stewing on for a while. In December 2012 he gave this interview to America’s Best Racing:
And this guy’s not looking to just dabble — in an interview in mid-October with Graham Besinger, Miller mentioned that he was traveling to Baltimore and then Lexington to finalize the purchase of a training farm that he’s had his eye on for awhile. The property includes a six-furlong training track and Miller is already putting together his team of staff and trainers to start renovations to develop the farm into his dream facility.
Miller has also been working in partnership with his long-time friend Bob Baffert, who needs no introduction in the thoroughbred racing world: The two already co-own a few horses together. Miller and Baffert have long held mutual respect for one another (Miller even has a bobble head of Baffert in his living room, oddly). Baffert has been a life-long fan of skiing and named his son Bode after the top American skier before the two ever met. The Baffert-trained stallion Bodemeister (whose notable accomplishments include a victory in the 2012 Arkansas Stakes and second-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes the same year) was then named after Baffert’s son.
Watch the Miller/Baffert-owned Carving edge out victory in the 2012 Real Quiet Stakes:
Baffert has offered to take Miller under his wing to help teach him the ropes about training thoroughbred race horses. Miller’s already been doing his homework — he’s loved horse racing as a hobby for years, but a packed competitive skiing schedule prevented him from getting really involved in the process. He’s contented himself by studying the art and science of training academically in the meantime, looking forward to the days in which he can dive right in.
Good luck, Bode Miller! Go riding!