Weightlifters, boxers, surfers—Filipino athletes occupy every space in sports, even the wintry sport of Alpine skiing. Baguio might be the closest thing the Philippines has to a “winter” destination, but that hasn’t stopped us from producing an Olympic alpine skier by the name of Asa Miller. This Filipino-American Olympian is getting all the buzz for being the sole Philippine representative to the 2022 Winter games in Beijing.
Miller has been skiing as long as he could walk, and the sport has become a form of expression for Asa. "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," he says. As the lone Filipino athlete in the competition, all eyes are on Miller as he’s eager to prove himself and do his supporters proud.
Here’s everything you need to know about winter Olympian Asa Miller:
1. He’s a dual citizen.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Miller is a dual citizen of both the U.S. and the Philippines. His mother, Polly Bisquera, was born in Manila, and it was through her that Miller was able to gain dual citizenship to represent the Philippines at the Winter Olympics.
Unlike other countries that reject dual citizenship, the U.S. and the Philippines recognize dual citizens and allow them to represent either country at official international events. Miller has been representing the Philippines since his youth when he competed in the 2017 World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships in Sweden.
2. He’s one of only six Filipino Winter Olympians.
Given our tropical climate, skiing is pretty much a nonexistent sport in the Philippines. The country has only ever had six Filipino Winter Olympians in the Games’ 98-year history. Four of the six competed in Alpine skiing: Filipino-New Zealanders Juan Cipriano and Ben Nanasca in 1972, Filipino-American Michael Teruel in 1992, and now, Filipino-American Asa Miller. The other two Winter Olympians were Filipino-American luger Raymond Ocampo in 1988 and Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez in 2014 and 2018.
3. He’s a second-time Olympian.
This isn’t Asa's first rodeo. The young athlete first competed in the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 when he was only 17 years old. He competed in the giant slalom, ending at 70th position, and was assigned to be the flagbearer at the opening and closing ceremony of the event. As the sole representative of the Philippines this year, Miller will also be the flag bearer for the opening and closing ceremonies.
He’ll be competing in two events: the men’s giant slalom event on February 13 and the men’s slalom event on February 16. After his performance in 2018, he hopes to rank even better and higher for the Philippines this time around in Beijing.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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