Asa Miller admitted on Monday that he learned a bitter lesson from his Did Not Finish (DNF) result in the giant slalom on a snowy, almost zero visibility Sunday morning at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Miller admitted that he lost his focus while waiting to take his turn to start. He was then aggressive from the get-go as he went for five gates as fast as he could. He skied for only 15.9 seconds before crashing out.
“I just have to stick to my plan for the next race,” said the 21-year-old Miller, whose campaign has the full support of the Philippine Sports Commission headed by Chairman William Ramirez.
Miller, however, avoided blaming the weather. It snowed for the first time in weeks at the Ice River on Saturday and Sunday, in the first run that saw 32 of the 84 participants also getting DNFs in the results list.
“I’d kind of lost my focus when I got into the gate for so long waiting, and forgot what I want to think about. So I need to make sure to stick to my plan for slalom on Wednesday,” he said.
Miller was No. 63 on the start list.
Miller’s American coach Will Gregorak observed right after the race that Miller skied not to finish “but to run” and go for a strong result.
The two-time Filipino-American Olympian expressed his frustration by leaving right away for the Olympic Village. He skipped a request for an interview at the Mixed Zone.
On Monday, he appeared in a good mood as he watched the giant slalom medal ceremony where Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt received his first Olympic gold medal. Slovenia’s Zan Kranjec clinched silver and France’s Mathieu Faivre bagged bronze.
“I’m pretty bummed about that [DNF], but I went out skiing my hardest and I went fast,” Miller said. “Ski racing is a hard sport. A lot of the best skiers struggled yesterday [Sunday], and a lot of people didn’t finish. So I’m happy that I put my best out there and laid it on the line.”
Miller was 70th out of 110 participants in Pyeongchang 2018
He took a break from training on Monday and decided to watch the other competitions with his dad Kelly.
Wednesday will be redemption day for Miller in the slalom contest, his last event in the Games.
“I’m looking forward to the slalom and I know I will put my best out there again . And hopefully things align and we get a nice result,” he said.
Miller thanked everyone who supported his campaign.
“Thank you guys so much for supporting me. I have been reading all the comments and the messages, they are all kind,” he said. “I know I didn’t get a good result yesterday and you guys still support me anyway so thank you so much.”