Interview with Bode Miller

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11 questions to a legend.

For all who missed my November article about Bode Miller and sportswear company Aztech Mountain. Enjoy!

NICE TO SKI YOU: First of all, thanks a lot for doing the interview and congratulations on the birth of your new baby boy! How are you feeling?
Bode: Well, it’s just a great and indescribable feeling, thanks. It’s a miracle, really, being a dad is just such a fantastic experience, it’s pretty crazy.

NICE TO SKI YOU: You‘re addicted to fashion. I’ve read that you tried to modify a bulky ski jacket into something more aerodynamic in your childhood? Did you succeed?
Bode: Well, it was a puffy jacket. At that time, my family had no money for skiwear, and so I taped it together, to make it smaller and tighter. I was about seven years old, and when I think back to that time, I was already interested in fashion and the technical details associated with it. So I taped individual parts of the jacket back, and at the end I could ski faster. (Smiling)

NICE TO SKI YOU: You won six Olympic medals and four gold medals from the Alpine World Skiing Championships, and now you‘re the chief innovation officer at Aztech Mountain, a company based in New York and Aspen, Colorado, that makes functional and ruggedly stylish ski wear. How did that come about?
Bode: I was at a photo shoot in Portillo, Chile, and tried on some different jackets. I grabbed an Aztech Mountain jacket, and found that it was the best one; the best cut, the best fabric. I was so impressed that I asked my agent to keep an eye out for the label. One month later, I was in New York for an event and met the guys from Aztech Mountain. They grew up in Aspen, they were skiers and had just started their company. And this meet up led to the partnership. I loved the idea of bringing something to this young, new and small company. I am very excited to be a part of it.

NICE TO SKI YOU: How does a test phase for new Aztech Mountain ski wear look like for you?
Bode: Well, we modify our products all the time. We don’t have a huge line, but we always figure out how to make it a little better. The quality of the fabrics, construction of the jackets and pants, and attention to detail. It’s a natural approach, and we give our very best. We are a small team, located in Aspen and New York, and in addition to skiing we all like to go to parties and spend time together. So our range stands up to the elements both on and off the mountain.

NICE TO SKI YOU: Do you have a favorite ski style for 2018/19 from Aztech Mountain? Why?
Bode: Yes, it’s the Wool Nuke Suit. This jacket is crafted from Schoeller C-Change waterproof wool and offers strength, stability and a streamlined look. It’s really an exceptional piece of clothing. (Discover HERE.)

NICE TO SKI YOU: What makes Aztech Mountain better than other companies?
Bode: Well, a couple of things. First of all, most of our products are made in Europe, where a highly skilled team is working for us. The quality is unique, not like that which is produced in China. Secondly, there’s our design guy Casey. He is brilliant, and puts great importance on cuts, shapes and fabrics. All our jackets are intended for a high level of performance, so we don’t skimp on materials. This is how we do it better than others! (Smiling)

NICE TO SKI YOU: For a lot of skiers, you’re an idol. Which skier was yours as a child?
Bode: There was not just one, but I especially loved slalom specialist Paul Frommelt, from Liechtenstein. He had a beard, always skied without a hat, and he had a great style. I also liked Alberto Tomba and his powerful skiing.

NICE TO SKI YOU: Who are your favorites for the Alpine Skiing World Cup 2018/19?
Bode: Marcel Hirscher. He is on top form and one of the best skiers I’ve ever seen, and technically he probably is the best. Maybe Aksel Svindal or Kjetil Jansrud too, if they stay fit. On the women’s side, Mikalea Shiffrin. She skis simply brilliantly.

NICE TO SKI YOU: Hot topic: global warming. How do you see the rising CO2 emissions and the challenges for the ski industry?
Bode: It’s a great shame to see what Trump is doing as President. He moved all the previous measures and ideas back. It’s really a huge shame. I grew up amongst nature, and I know how important it is to act in a sustainable and responsible manner. Global warming is a huge challenge for all of us. I really hope we can succeed.

NICE TO SKI YOU: What‘s your favorite skiing spot in Europe, and where do you prefer to ski in the USA?
Bode: In Europe, there are a lot of nice skiing spots. But my favorite is Paganella in the Trentino region of South Tyrol. It’s a beautiful resort for having great times with family and friends. The place just invites you to enjoy, relax and ski. You feel at home instantly.
In the USA, I like to go to the Yellowstone Club in Montana. It’s a private club set amongst the Rocky Mountains, and that’s why not many skiers are on the slopes. When you are there, you feel like you have the mountain to yourself. It’s great!

NICE TO SKI YOU: You’re the first skier in Ski World Cup history who has won at least five World Cup victories in each discipline. What makes a good skier?
Bode: It’s a mental thing. You must be ready and disciplined, and be willing to try. Of course, it’s a huge risk. The danger of injury is greatly increased. So I can understand Marcel Hirscher when he says that he renounces downhill discipline. For me personally though, I needed to know if I was good at downhill. (Smiling)

NICE TO SKI YOU: Thanks a lot for the interview, Bode!


[Photo: © Bruno Staub for Aztech Mountain]

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