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2014 Olympic results: Favorites Miller, Svindal fail to medal in men's downhill

American Bode Miller finished out of the medals during the Feb. 9 men's downhill finals at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
American Bode Miller finished out of the medals during the Feb. 9 men's downhill finals at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Despite turning in the fastest practice run of the men's downhill event at the 2014 Winter Olympics by a wide margin, pre-event favorite Bode Miller of the United States faltered when it mattered most, finishing well out of the medals during the Feb. 9 finals on Sochi's Rosa Khutor course.

Miller's poor performance left the door wide open for Austrian Matthias Mayer, who claimed the gold medal with a time of 2:06.23. The win marked the Mayer family's second Olympic victory, as his father Helmut won super-g silver at the 1988 Games in Calgary. The silver medal went to Italy's Christof Innerhofer (2:06.29), while Kjetil Jansrud of Norway earned the bronze (2:06.33).

Team USA's highest placement belonged to Travis Ganong, who briefly held bronze medal position and finished an impressive fifth. Miller placed eighth, while the other two Americans in the mix, Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan, finished 27th and 30th, respectively, in the 50-man field.

Miller's failure to medal wasn't the only surprise of the downhill final, as Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who was also expected to earn a podium finish, also under performed and came in fourth.

Miller, 36, can still become the oldest man to ever win an Olympic alpine medal. His next scheduled event at the 2014 Winter Games is the men's super combined on Feb. 13.