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He’s a two-time overall World Cup champion, and he already owns a U.S.-record five Olympic Alpine medals, including three from Vancouver in 2010.

After needing left knee surgery two years ago, Miller sat out all of last season with an eye to being fit for the Olympics. And he was not shy about saying he really wanted to win Sunday.

“This is the premier event,” he said, “and it’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit.”

U.S. men’s head coach Sasha Rearick’s take?

Bode wanted it too much,” Rearick said.

There are more races to come at the Sochi Games, of course — the downhill was the first of five events for the men — and Miller already was thinking ahead.

He was asked what went through his mind in those quiet moments after he completed the course.

“Going back through the run, seeing if I’d make changes, if I blew it, if I did something stupid. In this case, I didn’t,” he said. “I just had to steel myself for the rest.”