Asa Miller, the country’s lone bet in the 2022 Winter Olympics is creating a lot of excitement. The 21-year-old Miller, who was born in Oregon and traces his roots in Sta. Cruz, Manila, will see action in the slalom and giant slalom of the men’s alpine skiing event in the Beijing games slated to begin on Feb. 4.
“This is Asa Miller’s second opportunity as an Olympian. We’re just as excited that he’s been given another chance,” said Philippine Skiing and Snowboard Federation president Jim Apelar during the online session of the Pandesal Forum.
Miller was entered in the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang, South Korea and placed 70th of 110 giant slalom participants.
Back then, the 17-year-old, Miller clocked 2:49.95, nearly 32 seconds behind eventual gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino looks forward to the success of Miller.
“The whole country is excited. Ilang Asian countries kaya ang nakapag-compete sa Winter Olympics. Bihira,” said Tolentino.
Miller, currently in Salt Lake City to prepare for event, used the mountainous regions of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado as training grounds to improve on his 70th ranking out of 140 skiers in the previous Winter Games in 2018 Pyeongchang, South Korea.
He emerged as the only Filipino winter games qualifier after figure skaters Edrian Celestino and Sofia Frank missed the cut after competing against a tough field at the Nebelhorn Trophy 2021 in Oberstdorf, Germany.
The Canada-born Celestino garnered a total of 176.10 points to finish 18th overall out of 30 male figure skaters in the last Beijing Winter Olympics qualifying event.
Frank finished 24th overall out of 37 female figure skaters with 128.78 points.