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Austrians Benni Raich and Fritz Strobl give their thoughts on Bode Miller

Austrians Benni Raich and Fritz Strobl give their thoughts on Bode Miller{mosimage}Benjamin Raich, the leader of the overall World Cup standings, said that he sometimes laughed about the outrageous remarks he reads Miller making. Reigning Olympic downhill champion Fritz Strobl said journalists were making too big a deal out of it.

‘I hear a lot of comments this year from him, but he’s saying a lot of different things and I’m not sure that he is saying what is on his mind’ said Raich.

In December, Raich told Austria’s daily paper Kurier that he no longer could take Miller seriously after Miller went on French television and said that Austrian national hero Hermann Maier was ‘not ethically sound.’

But on Wednesday, Raich was shrugging off the latest Miller fiasco. ‘We look about our own selves, and not at Bode. He is a very strong skier, and we have a lot of respect for him, but we are thinking about ourselves, not Bode.’

Strobl said he doesn’t read a lot of newspapers, so he doesn’t know much about what is going on. He said he understands Miller said something minor and that journalists had made it into a big story.

‘I try to ski without alcohol’ Strobl said. ‘I drink some beer sometime in the evening, but not too much, so that I can go to the slope the next day at my top.’

In October, five-time overall champ Marc Girardelli told Ski Racing that Miller had done a lot more for the sport than Fritz Strobl, on account of Miller’s outspokenness.

Raich is funnier and more relaxed than he often gets credit for. When he met with reporters at his hotel on Wednesday evening and delivered one of the funniest lines recently uttered on the World Cup.

When asked why he is not more famous despite having won so many world championship medals, Raich said ‘because I am not American and because I didn’t crash at Nagano.’

What do you think?

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