U.S. ski star and NBC analyst Bode Miller apologized Thursday after he said Austria’s Anna Veith struggled in the Winter Games because she was recently married, according to The Washington Post.
“I apologize. It was an ill-advised attempt at a joke,” Miller said in his apology. “You know, I was an athlete who competed after marriage, and I know how beneficial it is, I know the support team you need. I relied on my friends and family, and if you have the luxury of relying on a spouse, I know they’re inevitably your biggest supporter, and on Valentine’s Day, I did not mean to throw spouses under the bus. Certainly I’m going to be hearing it from my wife, I know.”
Miller sent a separate apology on Twitter as well, according to NBC.
To be clear I was not seriously blaming Anna Veith's lack of results on her husband. It's a changing of priorities that is historically hard, male or female.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 15, 2018
I had the love and support of my wife while I was racing and I know it can be a huge asset. #happyvalentinesday— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 15, 2018
Earlier this week, Miller, who has four children with four women, said marriage may have caused Veith, who competed in the ladies’ giant slalom event, to struggle at the Olympics and with her training.
He and on-air partner Dan Hicks said Veith struggled because she tore her ACL. But Miller said marriage can cause a strain that can affect your performance, according to the New York Post.
“The knee is certainly an issue,” Miller said. “I want to point out she also got married. And it’s historically very challenging to race on a World Cup with a family or after being married.”
He added, “Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss it out there that it may be her husband’s fault.”
Veith, who married retired Austrian snowboarder Manuel Veith in April 2016, finished 12th in the ladies’ giant slalom event, according to The Huffington Post. She will later compete in the downhill, super-G and alpine events.