Miller hopes to become next big thing from Park City
Parkite will compete at Junior Worlds next week
March 3, 2017
Andrew Miller is hardly the first skiing success story out of Park City, but he's the most recent one.
The Alpine skier isn't far removed from competing for the Park City Ski Team (PCST), where he started at the Devo level and worked all the way up to competing in FIS races as a team member. He was also named the PCST Skier of the Year in 2015 and graduated from the Winter Sports School in November. He even placed 11th at last year's U.S. National Championships.
His newest accomplishment is being named to the U.S. Junior World Championship team that will take part in the 2017 FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in Sweden from March 8-14.
"It feels incredible," Miller said of making the team. "This is kind of a huge milestone in an athlete's career. Just being able to qualify for something like this verifies that all of the hard work is paying off and that you're heading in the right direction."
At these Championships, Miller knows he will be representing the United States, and he takes that role seriously. The championship is the biggest event he's ever competed in, Miller said. For some, that could be intimidating, he added.
Miller, who is new to the whole scene, plans on treating it as any other ski race.
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"I am just going to stick to what I do every single race day," Miller said. "I'm confident in my ability and I'll do my best. Hopefully it works out."
Miller is glad he has an entire team of athletes who are in similar situations. Though he's the only Parkite on the roster, he's close with nearly all his teammates. Miller said they will all help bring the best in each other come race day.
"You're ski racing community becomes your second family," Miller said. "I live with these guys and spend countless hours with them. I spend more time with these people than I do with my family in the winter. We're all here as the Unites States. That's one of the coolest parts.
"Ski racing is an individual sport, but in one of these kinds of events, not only are your trying to do the best for yourself, but you're also trying to push your teammates to represent the country."
While Miller is representing the U.S. Junior ski team this next week, it's not lost on him that he's also carrying Park City on his sleeve. As previously mentioned, he's hardly the first athlete to come out of the ski town to find success on the slopes, but that's exactly why he feels an obligation to do his part.
"It's special," Miller said. "It shows just how selective and difficult it is to qualify for something like this. I think it just gives me the opportunity to represent Park City and show how awesome of a community it is and how much it produces Olympics athletes."
Miller hopes to be the next Ted Ligety to make it out of Park City and it all starts with competing in the World Championships. After that, he will head to Canada to compete in the NorAm Finals, followed by taking part in both the 2017 U.S. National Championships and the Junior National Championships.
It's going to be a busy month for Miller, but it could be one that sets him up perfectly for years to come.
"This is kind of the beginning of a championship month," Miller said. "[The World Championships] is definitely the biggest event, but there are goals that I want to reach after this event. This is not the end of my season, for sure.
"A goal of mine is to see how high I can make it in the sport. I love what I do and if it makes sense, I'd like to make it my career."