Asa Miller, PH's lone Winter Olympics bet, swaps mitts for skis | Inquirer Sports

Asa Miller, PH’s lone Winter Olympics bet, swaps mitts for skis

/ 04:30 AM February 09, 2022

asa miller beijing olympics alpine skiing

Philippines’ Asa Miller during training in Beijing. –POC PHOTO

YANQING, China—Asa Miller, now a two-time Olympic alpine skier, wasn’t always chasing glory on snowy slopes.

The Philippines’ lone representative to the Beijing Winter Olympics spent some time behind the plate as catcher for his Lincoln High School, one of the oldest high schools in the United States, in Portland, Oregon.

But skating with dad Kelly during the winter, after fielding fast balls in the summer, slowly peeled the covers off reality; skiing was Miller’s passion all along.

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“I focused entirely on skiing and I became more serious [with the sport]; it’s what I love and [it’s] my passion,” said Asa, who played baseball for Lincoln from 2015 to 2016.

Asa Miller slowly unveiled a talent that grew behind that passion. His dad entered him in ski clubs at Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Miller is currently a member of the Snowbird Sports Education Foundation.

He was 16, racing for the Mount Meadows team, when the call to represent the Philippines came. He jumped on the opportunity and joined the 2017 World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships in Are, Sweden, where he finished 39th in slalom.

“When he turned 16, we started talking of joining the Philippine team in 2016,” Kelly Miller said.

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Now, the 21-year-old Filipino-American is hoping to assemble an even better finish than his first foray as a national athlete.

“Over the years, he’s been enjoying the competition and then it got higher and higher as he progressed more—and that’s his choice,” said Kelly of his son.

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More milestones

As the lone Filipino entry here, Miller is being given every bit of support by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which are hoping he will log milestones for a country that has been experiencing a rush of sporting highs lately.

Last year, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first Olympic gold when she ruled her weight class in the Tokyo Games where the national boxing team collected two silvers and a bronze. Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, meanwhile, launched himself into his sport’s elite circle as the only Asian in the top 10 of the world. In gymnastics, Carlos Yulo nailed his second world championship gold. And before opting for Japanese citizenship, Yuka Saso left the country a little souvenir by becoming the first Filipino to win a golf major.

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This year, the Philippine women’s football team booked a berth to the prestigious World Cup slated in 2023.

The PSC and POC are hoping that Miller, far departed from those days fielding throws from pitchers, will add to that list.

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TAGS: alpine skiing, Asa Miller, Beijing 2022, Winter Olympics

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