Photo Courtesy of Asa Miller
The Winter Olympics are approaching and one Cardinal is preparing to compete.
Senior Asa Miller is competing for the Philippines Ski Federation team because of his dual-citizenship. Miller is currently the only Slalom ski racer for the Philippines, but the team is expecting one more racer.
The minimum age to be an Olympian is 16 years old, and because Miller is 17, that allows him to qualify for the 2018 Olympics. When the Olympics first started in 1896, the minimum age to compete was 14, but since then it has raised. In 1981, it was raised to 15, and raised again to 16 in 1997.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This is the first time South Korea will be hosting the Winter Olympics.
Miller has experience competing on the international level. Last year, he competed in the World Junior Championships in Sweden. “I honestly didn’t do so well, but I went more for the learning experience and the opportunity to compete in a world event.”
Slalom is a form of racing where skiers compete to be the fastest down a course of poles and gates. There are two Slalom events scheduled for the 2018 Olympics: slalom and giant slalom.
“I will be doing giant slalom and normal slalom, depending on how I do in the next couple months,” says Miller.
His first experience on skis was when he was 1½ years old. His first race was when he was only 6 years old.
“After I completed all of the ski school, my dad made me sign up to compete,” he said.
Because Miller is a high school student, he isn’t able to train like most professional athletes. He makes time for both school and skiing by driving up to the slopes on weekends, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mt. Hood Meadows is the usual training resort, but because of the lack of snow this year, he trains at Timberline Ski Resort.
For Miller, this is just the beginning. Erik Gilbert, Miller’s coach at Mt. Hood Meadows, says, “For a 17 year old, the door is wide open in terms of what he can achieve. When it comes to his technical and tactical skills, he has work to be done, but at the same time he has done a great job refining these skills.”
Miller explains that it requires time to ski and still find success in the classroom.
“It is a hard time to balance school and racing, but I try to do my best.”