"It is an incredibly smart and strategic decision by Bode," Rearick said. "He's become legendary for pushing the limits of what is possible on skis, but knows an additional injury to his knee could put the 2014 Olympics in jeopardy.
"At this point, he is not fully recovered to race and has turned his focus to being 100 percent fit for Sochi."
Can Miller round back into elite form after taking an entire season off?
"If you commit to getting healthy and coming back, you can do that," teammate Ted Ligety said. "He's obviously missed on the World Cup because he's one of the big favorites."
Since he's not speeding down courses on the circuit, Miller may just take advantage of this unique opportunity: In exchange for allowing their skiers to squeeze in some early season runs at the U.S. Ski Team's speed center in Copper Mountain, the Russians are inviting some of the Americans to Sochi in February to train.
"I think a big part of his focus this year is the training block in Sochi where he will be there for the two weeks and more," Ligety said. "It's not like he is not skiing."
Miller's extended hiatus wasn't a shock to his fellow skiers. They pretty much figured Miller wouldn't ski this season.
"I spoke to him in Beaver Creek (Colo.) and he was saying that he is focused on the Olympics, and he still had troubles with his knee," Austrian skier Klaus Kroell said.
By shutting things down early, Miller won't lose his starting position at World Cup races next season. He will still begin with the top skiers in the world, not near the bottom when the snow has been trampled and filled with ruts.
Off the slopes, this has been a big year for Miller. He married pro volleyball player Morgan Miller on Oct. 7, and the couple is expecting their first child in August. Miller has a young daughter from a previous relationship.
Miller has had his share of drama away from skiing. In December, Miller accidentally hit his wife in the eye with a golf ball. Later, on Twitter, he posted, "Hit wife w golfball. (hash)worstfeelingever."
Photos of his wife last month showed her left eye completely closed and badly bloodied. She ended up getting more than 50 stitches.
She later posted: "I'm not feeling so hot. Line drive to the face today with a golf ball from my darling husband. I still love."