PH Olympic pride rests on 17-year old Asa Miller's shoulders
The high school student started his career in skiing at a very young age, already wearing skis at 19 months old. (Photo grabbed from Steve Angeles' Twitter video)
The country's Olympic aspirations will rest on the young shoulders of 17-year old Asa Bisquera Miller, who will be competing in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea about a month from now.
Miller, a Portland, Oregon native, holds dual citizenship, as his mother, Polly hails from Sta. Cruz, Manila.
The high school student started his career in skiing at a very young age, already wearing skis at 19 months old. He meanwhile started competitive skiing at eight.
"I’ve loved it this whole time. Racing has definitely been a newer passion but I’ve always loved to ski," Miller said in an online interview with ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles.
Miller added that his dad took the same path as him, learning the sport at a very young age while watching skiiers go down the slopes in Tahoe. California.
"From there he signed me up to ski race when I was 8 just to make me a better skier and later it just picked up and I got more competitive I just started liking it a lot more and it drove me to get better."
Meanwhile, the Philippine Ski Federation is positive that Miller's participation in the Games will increase the sports' reputation among Filipinos, especially younger ones, who reside in countries that experience winter.
Miller is a prime example of the efforts of the Federation in scouring the world for world-class talent.
"Five young kids, up and coming kids that I’m really excited about and hopefully this will kind of jumpstart and just spread the excitement worldwide among Filipinos in the snow countries," Phil. Ski Federation president Jim Apelar said.
As previously reported, the Miller family started a GoFundMe page to cover his expenses for the quadriennal event, but the Philippine Olympic Committee has volunteered to shoulder Miller's expenses in his entire trip to Pyeongchang.
The family will use the gathered funds instead to cover for Miller's future events.
Polly meanwhile thanks those who supported their fundraiser, even though the family does not know them personally. "
"We're obviously very appreciative of the support from strangers and friends and family but we’re here to support him. Whatever it’ll take to get him there and keep him healthy and competing and as long as he makes everybody proud where happy to do it."
Miller will participate in the slalom skiing event on Feb. 18.
H/T to ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles for his contributions to this report.