2022 Winter Olympics: Philippines’ Asa Miller
Alpine skier Asa Miller is the Philippines’ lone representative in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which officially kicked off on Friday.
In his second straight Olympics stint, Miller carried the Philippine flag anew during the opening ceremony which took place at the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium.
Miller, 21, will try to win the Philippines’ first medal in the Winter Games when he competes in slalom and giant slalom events.
‘Hated’ first days of skiing
Miller was born and raised in Portland Oregon to an American father Kelly Miller and mother Polly Bisquera, who traces her roots to Sta. Cruz, Manila.
He was introduced to skiing when he was just one and a half years old by his dad, who back then was a ski patroller.
His passion for skiing, however, wasn’t love at first sight.
“I didn’t initially fall in love with ski racing. In fact, I hated the first days of it. Over time, my love and passion for its speed, risk, and sense of freedom grew and became a primary focus in my life,” said Miller, who is a full-time college student at Westminister College in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“He has always encouraged me to go out and achieve what I set my mind to, and has supported me no matter what decisions I’ve made along the way. Without his support, I would be nowhere near where I am today,” he said of his dad.
Miller participated in his first race when he was eight years old before getting his opportunity to compete on the world stage in 2017 while representing the Philippines at the World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships in Sweden.
Miller’s biggest break came in 2018 when he qualified for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
He was one of two Filipino athletes at the Games—the other being figure skater Michael Martinez.
Miller placed 70th out of 110 competitors in giant slalom, his only event in Pyeongchang, clocking 2:49.95.
Alpine skiing, sometimes referred to as downhill skiing, has been a staple at the Winter Games since 1936.
There are 11 events in alpine skiing at the Beijing Olympics where 33 medals are at stake.
In slalom and giant slalom, where Miller will be competing against the world’s best alpine skiers, Sweden’s Andre Myhrer and Austria’s Marcel Hirscher’s are the defending champions, respectively.
Armed with experience, Miller is expected to have a much better performance in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Miller begins his campaign on February 13 in giant slalom before participating in slalom on February 16 at Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.
“It’s good that we started with the slalom skis. We’re starting to adjust to the snow and it’s different from where I normally ski, but it’s all good,” he said.
More confident this time
Miller is drawing motivation from his family and countrymen.
“To be able to represent my family who still lives in Manila and do the thing that I know how to do best which is ski, it does mean the world to me so this is my form of expression and I hope to make my family proud who still lives in Manila and the rest of the country as well,” he said.
“I’m coming in far more confident. I was 17 at that time just barely made qualifications and I just couldn’t believe that I made it. This time around, four years later, I made qualifications rather easily and I’m very confident at my abilities where my skiing is at the moment so I’m just hoping I can bring the best of it on the competitions.”
For more 2022 Winter Olympics stories, visit Beijing 2022.
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