Asa Miller looks to improve on his performance when he plunges into action in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Four years ago in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Miller finished the giant slalom event with a time of 2:49.95, ranking 70th out of 110 participants.
“I do not have placement expectations. But I do expect myself to improve from my last Winter Games. So I’m ready to show my improvements. We’ll see how it goes,” said the 21-year-old Miller during an online huddle with scribes, with support from SM Supermalls, together with Bank of China, the official banking partner of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Philippines’ lone representative to the games this year said his minor bout with COVID-19 last month did not affect his training since he developed mild symptoms during the Christmas break and he quickly recovered from it.
“COVID-19 had not been much of a threat. It has made limitations for travels and some other minor complications. But overall, it’s been pretty easy,” added Miller, who explained that he only got sick for two days.
Miller, who said he is already fully vaccinated, also discussed his preparations with Jim Palomar Apelar, president of the Philippine Ski and Snowboard Federation; Valeriano Floro, Chef de Mission of the 2022 Winter Olympics’ Philippine Delegation, along with Philippine Skating Union president Nikki Cheng and Philippine Sports Commission board member Dr. Celia Kiram.
For now, Miller is in Utah finishing his training and preparations for the games with his coach Will Gregorak.
His vast experience from joining more than a hundred races over the last five years is expected to give Miller a better showing in Beijing.
“I’m coming in far more confident. I was 17 at that time (in 2018) and I just barely made qualification. And I just can’t believe I made it,” added Miller, who added he found it easier to make qualification this time, making him very upbeat on how far he will go.
The Portland, Oregon-based Miller distinguishes himself as the second Filipino athlete to join his second Winter Olympics, with figure skater Michael Martinez being the first.
Meanwhile, Cheng said they hope to send more athletes to the Winter Olympics as they have been consistently doing so in the last 15 years.
“The Philippines is the only country without snow that has been consistently sending snowboarders to the World Cup, the World Championships and the Olympics for the last 15 years. It’s a rarity for us to participate in the Winter Olympics,” said Cheng.
Kiram, on the other hand, noted that the versatility of the Filipino athlete is in full display here as he is able to compete in any sport.
“They can be in water, they can be in snow, and they can be anywhere. The talent of the Filipino athlete is very useful. We can adapt,” said Kiram.