Fil-Am skier Asa Miller ended his 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics campaign with heartbreak after failing to finish his first run in the men’s slalom event at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre Wednesday.
Despite being eager to leave the ghost of his giant slalom performance over the weekend behind where he crashed out early in his first run, Miller suffered a similar fate at the tricky Ice River course.
He was able to finish the first intermediate in 12.93 seconds then managed on the second in 36.51sec before stumbling in the third.
Though weather has improved compared to a few days back where heavy snowfall caused low visibility and delayed schedules, 34 skiers including Miller struggled.
Among those who also did not finish was Malaysia’s Jeffrey Webb.
Austrian Johannes Strolz led the first run with 53.92sec followed by Norwegians Henrik Kristoffersen (53.94sec) and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (53.98sec).
Thailand’s Nicola Zanon and Timor Leste’s Yohan Goncalves Goutt finished their respective first runs in 1:05.71 and 1:15:48 for 45th and 52nd places.
Only 52 skiers from the 88-player field finished their first runs and are scheduled for the 1:45 p.m. second run that would determine the medalists.
Miller’s coach Will Gregorak said unpredictability is the nature of the sport.
“Nobody on any given day can guarantee what will happen to skiers or what they do over a season because there’s so much variability,” Gregorak said.
“With this type of snow, the skis were not responding very well for him so it’s very difficult to get his feeling on the skis and that’s how it goes sometimes. You hoped that it wouldn't happen in the Olympics, but that’s ski racing and that’s the nature of the sport, and that’s slalom racing.”
Gregorak is still proud of his stalwart despite the outcome of his second Winter Olympics appearance. In 2018 Pyeongchang, the Oregon native only qualified in giant slalom and finished 70th.
“I’m really proud of Asa for the composure he showed this week,” Gregorak said.
“The difficult hills, the difficult conditions and all the work and focus he put on to it—that’s all about being an athlete.”
Philippine Ski and Snowboard Federation President Jim Apelar is also optimistic of Miller’s future, saying this is part of the journey.
“It’s disappointing, but that’s part of the game. We are here for a couple of things: competition and representation. So we can see positive things. We were able to raise positive things by raising our flag in the Olympics,” Apelar said.