KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Bode Miller returned to the Rosa Khutor alpine center Tuesday, site of one of the most disappointing days in his long skiing career, and the sadness of an opportunity lost was still evident as Miller painfully dissected what went wrong in Sunday's Olympic downhill.
Miller, the five-time Olympic medalist, finished eighth Sunday in the race he hoped would signal his return, at age 36, to the top of the alpine ski world.
He revealed that, in hindsight, he would have changed to a less edgy pair of skis for the race, would perhaps have tried to ski a little less aggressively and would have undergone Lasik eye surgery before the Games as he had originally planned.
His vision, he said, was a problem. The cloud cover on Sunday created a flat light condition in which it is harder for the racers, especially at high speeds, to read the upcoming terrain.
"I was supposed to get an eye surgery earlier this year," Miller said. "We just never found a time to do it because the race schedule was so tight. We were pretty pissed off looking back that we hadn't found a time to do that. For me, my vision is critical. When the light's perfect, I can ski with any of the best guys in the world. When it goes out, my particular style suffers more than the guys who are more stable and don't do as much in the middle of the turn."
Miller spoke after a training run for Friday's men's super combined, in which he will seek to rebound.
"You know, it's tough, because everybody was disappointed," he said. "It was a pretty big letdown. This was my main focus during the year. I was skiing it really well. I think everyone wants to find the answers as to why it didn't go better.
"In hindsight, you could always really second-guess the decisions you made on race day. That's a danger, I think. I think we made the right choices. We acted on all the information we had. I think I skied as hard as I could. I couldn't have taken any more risk. Maybe I could have taken less, but that's hard to ask of a racer on Olympic downhill race day."
Miller had said after Sunday's race he didn't make any big mistakes but was a victim of the changing, warming weather conditions that caused the course to soften.