Bode Miller's bid for Olympic history ended early Saturday when he skied off course just 8 seconds into his final event.
The 32-year-old from Franconia, N.H., trying to become the first man to win four Alpine medals in the same Olympics, straddled the fifth gate in the first run of the slalom on a fog-shrouded, snowy day.
He stood by the side of the course looking mystified by his mistake.
"I just hooked a tip, and it's obviously disappointing when you're fired up and you're skiing well and everything's there," Miller said. "You go out of the gate with the intention of absolutely maximizing every turn."
Miller is one of only five men to get three Alpine medals at a games, a record performance for a U.S. skier.
He won gold in the super-combined, silver in the super-G and bronze in downhill.
His five career Olympic medals are tied for second on the all-time men's list behind Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who has eight.
Miller had not won a two-leg slalom race on the World Cup circuit since December 2004, but he showed excellent form last Sunday in the slalom portion of the super-combined to take his first Olympic title.
However, his run Saturday ended after only 50 meters, still in sight of the start house.
"It was over before I even had much chance to know what my skis were doing on that snow," Miller said. "I wasn't pivoting, I wasn't sliding the ski at all. That's a little bit indicative of my lack of time on slalom skiing, because I might have known that my skis would do that if I'd had more training."
Miller was one of 10 men in the top 30 ranked skiers who did not make it to the finish in difficult conditions for racing. Only 54 of 102 started completed the first run.
"It's the Olympics, and we knew it was going to be challenging and we knew it was going to be tough, and everyone's skiing 100 percent," Miller said.
Giuliano Razzoli won the gold for Italy's first Alpine medal in the Winter Games in 16 years.
First-leg leader Razzoli had a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 39.32 seconds.
Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was 0.16 seconds back for his second silver medal of the Vancouver Olympics, while Andre Myhrer of Sweden got bronze.