It is the third Olympic medal of Miller’s career but his first since 2002, when he won two silver medals – one in the giant slalom and one in the combined.
In between, Miller had a disastrous Olympics in Turin. Though he was favored to win multiple medals, he won none and was criticized for his clashes with US ski officials and his late-night party habits.
Miller finished on the podium Sunday by skiing a clean race on course besieged by rain and fog during the past few days. The race, which was scheduled for Saturday, had already been postponed once, but the weather at Whistler was good Monday, with no threat of rain and temperatures near freezing.
Skiing eighth, Miller took the early lead, with Canadian Erik Guay and Austrian Mario Scheiber coming closest to matching his time of 1:54.40.
But it could not withstand the murderer’s row of downhill skiers that came later. Aksel Lund Svindal, a Norwegian skiing 16th, edged Miller by 0.02 seconds. Two skiers later, Defago topped Svindal by 0.07 seconds.
Miller’s best event, the combined – which combines a downhill run with a slalom run – is scheduled for tomorrow. In three World Cup combined events this season, Miller has a 1st, a 5th, and a Did Not Finish.
Follow our Olympics Twitter feed.