News from the Field

Cold Call
Bode Miller
The 30-year-old might be the best and worst thing ever to happen to American ski racing. His latest move: quitting the U.S. team and hiring his own coaches to ignore.

OUTSIDE: Why now?
MILLER: It should've happened a long time ago. The U.S. team manages 15 or 20 guys and doesn't have flexibility for a single person. I can jump in with the Austrians if they'll have me, and I can jump in with the Swiss the next day if the Austrian training turns to shit.

What's your goal?
To win 14 World Cup races in the season. Two guys—Ingemar Stenmark and Hermann Maier—have won 13.

The press has been rough with you. Care to ask us a question?
With the 60 Minutes piece [in which Miller copped to skiing wasted], Bob Simon was like, "I'll coach them not to use that the way you think they will." I knew the editors were going to jump on it. It's like having a giant boob right in front of your face. On embellishment and artistic license, where's the line?

I'd probably draw it at "giant boob," but I doubt my editors will.

—Jolie Jalbert

Rescue Me
Though it won't be available in the U.S. until December 2008, the Life Bag, from Switzerland-based Snowpulse, is already generating buzz. Caught in an avalanche? Pull the rip cord and the bladder inflates into a 40-gallon shield for your upper body. After 90 seconds it deflates, leaving you with an air pocket in the snow in which you can breathe—and pray to be found. $1,100; snowpulse.com

Higher Education
Sports-camp goliath IMG Academies has partnered with Crested Butte Academy and hired Shaun White's coach, Bud Keene, to do for today's skiing and boarding teens what its Bollettieri school did for tennis (that would be Seles, Sharapova, and Agassi). For adults, weeklong immersion classes will either put you in top form or spank you like the angry hand of a tennis dad. $2,500; imgacademies.com

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