A Williamston High School junior will soon know if she's headed to the Olympics. Hannah Miller is in Boston, gearing up to compete tonight in the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships. The event wraps up Sunday, January 12, with the announcement of the USA's 2014 Olympic Figure Skating Team.
Hannah Miller skates with grace, precision, and an *indescribable* quality. Her aunt, and coach Kirsten Zisholz-Miller believes what sets her apart from others, is the ability to shine on a big stage. "I think that attitude and that perseverance and that determination to be a champion is strong in her and I think that that is a special quality. I don't know that you can teach that." During the Midwest Sectionals competition in East Lansing last November, Miller sealed her trip to the National Championships. She'll perform a short and long program in Boston, for a shot at the Olympic team. Miller says, "What I've been thinking about most is just making jumps to get there, and keep training as hard as I can to be the best that I can and that's all I can control."
Miller says she's figured out how to use nervous energy right before competition to her advantage. She's hoping to earn one of three spots on Team USA. Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold are expected to take the others. Miller's mother, Cheryl, says her daughter doesn't focus on the competitors. "She's been the underdog before and she's always been successful. She just pushes herself, she's a really sharp competitor. She's fierce, she puts it all out there." Qualities that run in the family. Miller's father Kevin, played on the USA 1988 Olympic Hockey team. He says, "Looking back, it was a great experience, and its some of the best moments of my life."
Hannah Miller says she's not thinking about the Olympics when she's on the ice. She's focused on delivering a flawless performance. Whether this weekend's performances take her to Sochi or not, Miller is a skater to watch in the years to come. She says, "I'm just excited for this Olympics and excited for the next Olympics, we'll just see where I go from here." Coach Zisholz-Miller agrees, "If its not Sochi, maybe you'll see her in 2018." And with a big smile, Miller's mother adds, "She just doesn't quit."
Miller is the 16th out of 21 skaters that will perform their short program tonight. She's expected on the ice at around 10:30. You can watch her performance on the subscription website, Ice Network. She'll perform again Saturday in the long program. The top 10 skaters will be televised on NBC beginning at 8.