Defago Sweeps Past Bode for Downhill Gold
Miller forced to settle for bronze
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2010 3:08 PM CST
Bode Miller of the United States skis to the finish line of the men's downhill at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
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(Newser) – The men's downhill skiing competition surged out of the gate in Whistler today, but with all eyes on Bode Miller, little-known Swiss skier Didier Defago unseated the American's solid performance and snatched the gold for himself. Defago, which the New York Times notes isn't even the most famous skier with his first name on his team, topped Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and forced Miller to settle for bronze.

With conditions finally hard and fast after workers pulled an all-nighter, Miller went down eighth in dark conditions. The sun came out just before Defago's run, and one US skier noted: “If Bode had better light, I think he could have made up the .9 seconds and won the thing.”