SOCHI, Russia (CBS/AP) -- American skier Bode Miller is responding to criticism of an NBC post-race interview by saying it was a "crazy emotional moment."
The interview, conducted after Miller won a bronze medal in the men's super-G ski race, turned to his emotions given the passing of his younger brother, Chelone, who died last year. A visibly emotional Miller began crying during the interview, leaning against a railing.
The moment drew backlash toward interviewer Christin Cooper, who pressed Miller about his brother, and NBC, which aired the full tape-delayed interview in primetime in the United States several hours later.
Miller, who is now the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history, took to Twitter on Monday to defend Cooper:
I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
Miller was a trending topic on Twitter in the United States for much of the day after the tweet and critics said the interview was insensitive.
Richard Sandomir of The New York Times called it "overkill," Kami Mattioli of the Sporting News said Cooper "repeatedly badgered" Miller and the AP's David Bauder called it "a shameful spectacle."
Commenters on Reddit echoed the sentiment, with one writing: "Even when he was tearing up she kept it up. It was disgusting."
NBC said in a statement that its intent was to convey the emotion Miller felt.
"We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story," the statement said.
"My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have," Miller said in another tweet. "Pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain."
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