When Bode Miller officially retired from ski racing in 2017, the natural question sports journalists asked was, “Who’s next?” Now Miller himself hopes to answer that question. Partnering with the Institute for Civic Leadership Academy, a private online school for grades 7-12, Miller is launching the Bode Miller winter sports academy—a fully accredited, full-time online college prep school.
The goal of the program, Miller says, is to create the next wave of standout athletes. Having worked with children since starting the Turtle Ridge Foundation in 2005, Miller’s role will be even more hands-on. He will be responsible for direct communication with students and creating video content, workouts, and webinars specifically for local coaches to better instruct their athletes.
Initially an online school for ski racers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers, and other winter sports enthusiasts, Miller hopes to expand the program to a physical school in Big Sky, Montana, near his family’s home.
Miller intends to create an academic program that is “COVID-proof,” saying in an interview with the AP, “This is a total game-changer because this allows students to operate on their own schedule, get a first-class education, and still develop into whoever it is they’re meant to be.”
The program was developed with ICL to integrate snowsports themes into the academic curriculum in engaging ways, but not be too heavy-handed. If a student is studying physics, for example, they might spend time learning about forces generated through a turn, or the properties of angulation. The flexibility of the curriculum—with only one mandatory class per day—will allow students to focus on their athletic achievement, using the same dry-land workouts that led Miller to his 33 World Cup wins.
Miller says he hopes to “address the things that I hated about the basic online curriculum, which was isolation, non-standard teacher, sort of the online triage version. Hopefully, we’re opening more of a super high-level private-school type education… that allows for our kids to pursue whatever passion they have.”
The school will cost around $13,000 with financial aid available on a basis of need. Over 100 students have already expressed interest. The financial aid aspect was especially important to Miller, who paid his way through the Carrabassett Valley Ski Academy by working through the summers. The program has just begun, and we will keep an eye out for new details on the physical location in Big Sky as they surface.
This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.