Local Skater Has Olympic Dreams, Family Roots

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

It's every skater's dream to compete in the Olympics, but only a select few achieve that goal. Thirteen-year-old Hannah Miller thinks she's got a good shot.

"I hope I can get there one day," Miller said. "I'll just keep working out on the ice, I think I can get there."

And this 7th grader from Williamston Middle School is well on her way. Last December, she placed 5th at Junior Nationals at the Intermediate level.

"I was very happy that I could travel all the way to Strongsville, Ohio and compete against the greatest skaters in the nation at my level," she said.

Happy for sure, but not content. Miller plans to move up to Novice - just two below skating's highest level - which means if she makes it, she would go on to the US figure skating championships.

To get there, she needs to master more triple jumps. Her coach and aunt said they're working it.

"Our goal this year is to get four more triples," Kirsten Miller-Zisholz said. "I know she has big, big goals, and with her work ethic, I think there's a possibility she could achieve them."

Hannah's certainly come a long way since her dad carried her on the ice at just 2 months old. By three-years-old, she began skating on her own; her mom said Hannah never looked back.

"We put her on the ice and there was a love there and so we went from there," Cheryl Miller said.

You might say Hannah has natural ability, which isn't a surprising considering skating is her blood. Ten different Millers have suited up for the Spartans, including her dad, Kevin, who won a National Championship in 1986 then went on to fulfill his own Olympic dreams.

"We had a great team, had a great experience," Kevin Miller said.d "It was great living in the Olympic Village and being around the other athletes, it happened so quickly."

Kevin was a star for the Spartans in the 80s then later went on to the NHL, but he said he'll never forget representing his country in 1988 in Calgary.

"It was an experience you live with for the rest of your life," he said. "Like they say, once an Olympian, always an Olympian."

Like father -- hopefully soon -- like daughter.

"I tell her to keep dreaming it and keep working hard toward that dream," Kevin said.

This former figure skater decided to see if Hannah could resurrect my skating career.

So we went out on to the ice together.

What's your favorite spin? I asked.

"I don't really have one, but maybe the camel spin," Hannah said.

After demonstrating it perfectly, I tried one.

Somewhere my former skating coach probably cringed when he saw it.

We tried one more spin.

Hannah showed me a layback spin. Then I did one too, that wasn't half bad, what do ya know?

"That was good," Hannah said.

It's back to business now for Hannah, training at Suburban Ice Arena six days a week.

All the sacrifice, all the hard work, all for one goal, to one day taste Olympic glory

"It's my dream to go to there some day like my dad did," she said.


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