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Olympics boss defends Bode Miller interview

USA's Bode Miller reacts during the Alpine Skiing

USA's Bode Miller reacts during the Alpine Skiing Men's Super-G at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Credit: Getty Images / Doug Pensinger

Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer for the Olympics, said Monday from Sochi that he was comfortable with how the network handled what has become a controversial post-race interview with skiier Bode Miller Sunday.

Miller won the bronze medal in the super-G, after which NBC's Christin Cooper - a former Olympic skiier herself - asked him a series of followup questions about his emotions after Miller brought up the topic, in particular as they related to the death last year of his brother, Chelone, at age 29.

Miller eventually broke down emotionally and walked away from the interview, spending more than a minute collecting his thoughts while the camera lingered on him.

"I think the way it played out was fine," said Bell, who noted that Miller defended Cooper both on Twitter and on the "Today" show.

"You’d be irresponsible not to tell that part of the story; that’s what we do," Bell said after being asked whether NBC in general focuses too much on athletes' personal stories, and tragedies, in interviews.

Such human-interest-oriented storytelling has been an Olympic staple since the early 1970s.

Bell said if Miller did not have a problem with the interview, "then I guess that ought to take some of the temperature down on it – or should, anyway . . . I think that should be the end of it."


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