Asa Miller more confident in second Winter Olympics stint

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) – Filipino alpine skier Asa Miller expressed confidence he will perform better in his second Winter Olympics stint in China next month.

"I didn't place any expectations. I do expect myself to improve on my placement from the last Winter Games. I really hope to be able to display my improvements over the last four years technically," Miller said in a press conference on Saturday.

Then 17-year-old, Miller finished 70th out of 110 competitors in the giant slalom event in his Winter Olympics debut in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

In Beijing, the now 21-year-old Miller is the lone Filipino in the quadrennial sporting competition and will now compete in two events: slalom and giant slalom.

"I was 17 at that time, just barely met qualifications. I just can't believe that I made it this time around. Four years later, I met qualifications rather easily," said Miller, who trained five days per week for his second Winter Olympics stint.

During the last four years, Miller shared that he competed in about a hundred tournaments just to nail the coveted Winter Olympics berth for him and for a tropical country like the Philippines.

For now, the Portland-born alpine skier said he was able to study the map of his competition venue at the Xiaohaituo Alpine Skiing Field.

"I should have plenty of time to familiarize with the hill and get used to the snow there," Miller said.

He added that his second straight Winter Olympics berth means a lot for him, as the sport has become his passion and a way for him to succeed in life.

"It's more than just like a sport to me, it's like a lifestyle and a form of expression. In the mountain, you can ski in different ways," he said. "It's all about speed and how fast you go and adapting to the different terrains. You flow and move with the mountains as well."

Miller said he hopes his family and countrymen will be proud of his achievement as the lone Filipino athlete to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

"This is a form of my expression. I hope to make my family proud, who still lives in Manila, and the rest of the country as well," Miller said.

The Filipino alpine skier will first see action in the men's giant slalom event on Feb. 13 while the men's slalom competition is set for Feb. 16.