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Say it ain't so, Bode! Miller bails on slalom run
France's gold medal winner Jason Lamy Chappuis is flanked by silver medal winner United States' Johnny Spillane, right, and bronze medal winner Italy's Alessandro Pittin during the medal ceremony of the Nordic Combined Individual normal hill event at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Just when things were going so well for Bode Miller, his old Olympic bugaboos bit him again.

Miller took off Tuesday morning in pursuit of a record fourth Alpine medal at a single Winter Games but barely made it down the giant slalom course. He almost crashed in the top half, got straightened out, but then couldn't stay on line coming out of a gate in the second half of the run.

It looked straight out of his scrapbook from Turin, when he went in as a huge favorite and came out an even bigger disappointment. That's part of the reason he was flying under the radar coming into Vancouver, only to come away with medals in his first three races.

Maybe his results so far could be considered the ultimate example of Bode being Bode: a gold, a silver, a bronze and a DNF (did not finish).

"I'm taking more risk than everyone else," Miller told The Associated Press. "That's partly why I'm able to get medals. It looks easy when you make it. When you crash like today, it's like, 'Oh, huh?'"

Miller still has one race left, the slalom, and until Saturday to rest up for it.

The second half of the slalom was scheduled for later in the day, with American Ted Ligety in eighth place but only 0.6 seconds from the top.

In the first medal decided Tuesday, Russia won the women's biathlon relay by such a wide margin that the final skier slowed to give high-fives to fans and to blow kisses.

Five other events were being decided Tuesday, including the men's 10,000 meters in speedskating, Nordic combined relay, women's skicross, women's biathlon relay.

But there was plenty more intrigue on the Olympic calendar, like Roberto Luongo in goal for Canada's hockey team as it tries to bounce back against Germany, and the start of the women's bobsled and women's figure skating.

Reigning world champion Kim Yu-na is a big favorite to win the figuring skating over a field that includes former world champions Mao Asada and Miki Ando, and Canadian star Joannie Rochette, whose mother died on Sunday shortly after arriving in Vancouver.

Americans went into the day with 25 medals, the next one marking the most at a Winter Olympics not held in the United States. (The women's hockey team already has clinched silver, but it doesn't go on the list until they play the gold-medal game Thursday.)

Germany has tied the United States for the most gold medals, with seven, and is closing in overall. The Germans got bronze in the biathlon relay, upping their total to 22.



Reigning world champion Carlo Janka of Switzerland led after the first run, with Romed Baumann of Austria and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal in third.

"It seems like it's going to be another tight race," said Svindal, who already has a gold and silver at this Olympics.

Ligety said the gap is "not enough for those guys to feel comfortable about it."

"I'm happy with where I am," he said. "To only be six-tenths out with some mistakes in the flats is OK."



Italian Enrico Fabris, who won two gold and a bronze on home ice four years ago, bailed out of the 10,000 meters an hour before the race, citing nausea.

He hasn't been much of a contender in Vancouver, finishing seventh in the 5,000 and 10th in the 1,500, where he was the defending champion. He's also the defending champ in the team pursuit, which is Friday.



Johnny Spillane became the first American to win a medal in this event earlier in these games. Now he's in position for another that he can share with his friends.

The team of Spillane, Todd Lodwick, Billy Demong and Brett Camerota were in second place after the ski-jumping portion of the team event, with a 4x5km relay to come in the afternoon.

Finland is ahead and Austria just behind the Americans.



The knockout round of the tournament begins with an interesting slate of games:

—Canada trying to bounce back from a shootout win and the loss to the United States. A victory sets up a game against Russia, which means an Olympic showdown between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

—Who will play the United States next? The winner of the game between Belarus and Switzerland, which nearly knocked off Canada in the preliminary round.

—Slovakia facing Norway for the right to play reigning Olympic champion Sweden.

—The Czech Republic taking on Latvia, with the winner to face 2006 silver medalist Finland.



A day after the U.S. men were eliminated, the women were, too, following a loss to China.

The American women are 2-6, worst in the field, going into its final match of the opening round, against Switzerland on Tuesday night.