Fil-Am skier Asa Miller confident of better showing in second Olympics

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2022 04:39 PM

Philippines' Asa Miller competes in the Men's Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. File photo. Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP.
Philippines' Asa Miller competes in the Men's Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. File photo. Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP.

MANILA, Philippines -- The lone Filipino to compete in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, alpine skier Asa Miller has no doubt that he can improve upon his performance from his previous stint in the Games.

Miller, 21, also represented the Philippines in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he competed in the giant slalom and placed 70th overall out of 109 competitors. Then only 17 years old, Miller finished with a time of 2:49.95, nearly 32 seconds behind eventual gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

Speaking to former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on "Power and Play," Miller said it "means the world" to him to qualify for the Olympics for a second time.

[EMBED on 'Power and Play': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubx4Fhx1G4c&t=6589s]

"I've been waiting four years for this experience to come back again, with more experience, more wisdom, and better technique," said Miller, who is currently in Salt Lake City. "I'm really looking forward to getting to show what I can do and represent the Philippines better than I did the first time on the world stage."

Since competing in Pyeongchang in 2018, Miller said he has put in the work to improve his skills and technique, even deciding to take time off from school in order to focus on his craft. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a problem for Miller, as it has for virtually all athletes, but the skier was still able to compile enough points to meet the minimum qualification standard for Beijing. 

He expects to compete in a tournament this week as he continues to ramp up his preparations for the Winter Games, which takes place in Beijing from February 4-20.

"I've certainly earned a lot of confidence and different mental tricks and techniques," Miller said of the lessons he took from his first Olympic stint in 2018. 

"Since it certainly is a difficult sport, and all or nothing, where a small mistake will mean your day is done, I've learned kind of how to handle stress and use my technique to my advantage, where I can know where I can trust myself and where I can take risks, and where I need to be safer with my decisions and my skiing," he added.

While he has not set a specific goal for the Games, Miller is reasonably confident that he will improve upon his performance from 2018/

"I'm confident that I'll definitely place better. I don't have any particular result goals. At the moment, I'm not sure what my expectations are for how I will stack up against the rest of the competition," he said.

"But I'm really excited to see where I end up, and just show what I have to offer," he added.

Miller will be competing in both the Giant Slalom and Slalom in the Winter Games. He will also be the country's flag bearer during the Opening Ceremonies.