ALBERT Miller is no stranger to the sporting fraternity. During his quest to reach the top, Miller faced hitches from his humble rising which helped him become a champion athlete and a Fijian household name until today. In his sporting career, Miller said in all the years he was involved in the sport of athletics, discipline was the key factor which greatly contributed to his success.
The former decathlete and Olympian for Fiji may have hung up his spikes but the difficulties he faced as a sportsman remain fresh in his mind.
His first exposure to athletics was in the early 70s when he attended Dudley Intermediate School where he tried out for the high jump event but didn't make it to the National Secondary Schools Championship. In 1973, Miller said he moved to Nadroga and attended Cuvu College for a term with his sister and it was during this time he met his first coach Peceli Kina who coached him in the shot put and long jump event.
"Later that year, I was transferred to Levuka Public School (LPS) and became interested in high jump," said Miller.
"I represented LPS in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977 in the high jump and I was the Fiji Secondary Schools champion in the junior, inter, senior and open grade in the event."
Miller said while he had some very good coaches who guided him throughout his athletic career, his sporting hero in Athletics was Daley Thompson of Great Britain of whom he had the privilege of competing against in the 1984, 1988 Olympics and 1986 Commonwealth games.
"My biggest accomplishments in my sport were finishing 3rd in the 1983 division 2 NCAA National championship in the decathlon where I set a new school record for the California State University of Sacramento which still stands today," said Miller.
How did Miller learn to train endurance to win?
One was training was systematic and well planned to make sure that he covered all aspects of his training and two, the right diet, recovery, training plan and the right frame of mind were all essential to ensure success.
To the upcoming athletes, Miller's advise is simple — "Enjoy the opportunity of competing in the sports that they love. Fully dedicate yourself to becoming the best athlete you can be and just remember there is no short cut in trying to be the best."
Miller has dedicated 24 years of his life representing Fiji and assisting in the development of the sport of athletics and according to FASANOC, he is arguably one of the greatest Fijian athletes ever.