NEW YORK, Ny. (AP and TODAY) – Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beck Miller have a powerful warning for all parents after the death of their 19-month-old daughter Emeline.
Five weeks after the tragic accident, the Olympic alpine skier and his wife sat down with Savannah Guthrie to talk about their loss and urge other parents to take drowning seriously.
“I can attest from firsthand experience now that it’s unbelievably quick and it’s unbelievably sneaky,” said Miller on Today Friday.
“You’d think it’d be, like, some weird circumstance or some strange thing,” the 40-year-old athlete added in the interview. “And, it’s not. It just happens in the blink of an eye.”
“And it is literally — a child under 30 pounds can drown in 30 seconds. And I just keep counting to 30 in my head. That was all I needed. And so, it’s one of those things where, as a parent now, when you go to someone else’s house, survey the home to see if it’s a safe place for your child to be," Beck Miller said.
Emeline Miller died at an Orange County hospital in early June, the day after paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive her after the drowning incident.
“We are beyond devastated,” Miller said in an Instagram post that showed several photos of the blonde, blue-eyed, chubby-cheeked toddler.
In a video, Emmy, as she was known, was being kissed on the cheek by her mother Morgan, a professional beach volleyball player, as she repeatedly said, “Hi Dada.”
One photo showed her covered in suds in a tub and another showed her smiling as she pushed two baby dolls in a pink stroller on a street with large homes in the background.
“Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this,” Miller said in the post. “Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to its fullest every day.”
The death was under investigation, Orange County sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.
Paramedics were called to a home in the upscale enclave of Coto de Caza just before 6:30 p.m. June 9, said Capt. Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority.
They tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the girl and rushed her to an emergency room, Bommarito said.
“They had no pulses the whole way,” Bommarito said. “It didn’t end well.”
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team tweeted its condolences to Miller and his family.
Miller, 40, is the most decorated male U.S. skier with 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles, four world championships and six Olympic medals, including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games in the super-combined. At the 2014 Sochi games, he was the oldest alpine skier — at age 36 — to win a medal.