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Bode Miller Defends Reporter Who Made Him Cry During Interview: "She Didn't Mean to Push"

Bode Miller Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Bode Miller is sticking up for a reporter who made him cry after repeatedly asking him about his late brother during an interview.

The Olympic skier was already emotional after winning the bronze at Sochi's Super G Sunday, wiping tears from his eyes after he completed the competition.

But, he completely broke down when NBC reporter Christin Cooper kept asking him about his late brother, Chelon, who hoped to make the U.S. team in Sochi before he died of a reported seizure last April.

"Bode, you're showing so much emotion down here. What's going through your mind?" Cooper asked, according to USA Today.

"A lot, obviously," he replied. "A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year."

NEWS: Olympian Bode Miller gets emotional after winning bronze at Sochi's Super G

Bode Miller, Sochi, Olympics AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN

Miller's tough year not only included his brother's passing, but a bitter custody battle over his newborn son and a tough recovery from a left knee surgery.

Cooper continued the interview, asking, "I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games. How much does it meant to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?"

"I mean, I don't know if it's really for him," Miller replied, wiping away tears. "But I wanted to come here and, uh, I don't know, I guess, make myself proud."

The reporter went on, continuing to ask about Chelone, saying, "When you're looking up in the sky at the start…we see you there, and it just looks like you're talking to somebody. What's going on there?"

After that last question, Miller couldn't hold in his emotion any longer, falling to his knees and resting on a fence.

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Bode Miller, Sochi, Olympics Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Following the interview, Cooper faced criticism on Twitter that she had pushed Miller too far.

But, the Olympian made sure to respond to the backlash, telling fans to take it easy on her.

"I appreciate everyone sticking up for me," Miller tweeted Sunday. "Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment"

"My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain."

Miller went on to address the incident on Today Monday, telling Matt Lauer, "I have known Christin a long time, and she's a sweetheart of a person. I know she didn't mean to push. I don't think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late. I don't blame her at all."

"I feel terrible that she's taking the heat for that because it really was just a heat of the moment kind of circumstance. I don't think there was any harm intended. It was just a lot of emotion for me...You sometimes don't realize how much you can contain that stuff until the dam breaks, and then it's just a real outpouring."

(E! is a part of the NBCUniversal family.)

PHOTOS: Miller wasn't the only Olympian tearing up during the Winter Olympics...

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