From Rachel Nichols
(CNN) — Bode Miller may have ended up in tears, but he’s not upset with the reporter who pushed him to that point.
“I was really surprised. I mean, I felt like it was me, not her,” he told CNN about NBC reporter Christin Cooper.
After Miller won a bronze in the men’s super-G alpine skiing race Sunday, Cooper asked him about his emotions and stuck with the questions after Miller teared up talking about his brother, Chelone, a snowboarder with his own Olympic aspirations who died last year at 29.
Miller — who ended up unable to speak, doubled over and crying — says he doesn’t blame her for asking the questions.
“She asked questions that I feel like with her knowledge of my brother and the situation, I felt like were pretty normal questions,” Miller said. “I’ve known Christin for a long time, and I think she’s really comfortable with me, and I felt terrible that she was getting just massacred in the press and in social media.”
Miller’s brother was in a motorcycle accident in 2006. He suffered several seizures after that but still dreamed of competing in the Olympics.
“That was part of the reason why I was staying with it, and coming back to continue to race, so we would be here together and, you know, hopefully win together,” Miller said.
Winning was an incredible way to honor his brother, he said, which made Sunday great and painful.
“In the end, people will sort of see that it was more me just dealing with all these emotions and the build-up of several years of very tough personal life stuff,” Miller said.
CNN’s Steve Almasy and Dana Ford contributed to this report.