Steamboat Winter Sports Club’s Rebecca Miller wins top skier award | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Winter Sports Club’s Rebecca Miller wins top skier award

Luke Graham

Rebecca Miller, center, received congratulations Thursday from Gretchen Bleiler, left, and Colorado Ski Country USA group President and CEO Melanie Mills in Denver.

— Rebecca Miller has the physical abilities to be a top-level freestyle skier, but even she admits her biggest problem has been confidence in herself.

Last week, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete and NorAm skier might have received just the boost she needed.

Miller was named Colorado Ski Country USA's Female All-Star Athlete of the Year. The award was presented Thursday during the Double Diamond Awards Dinner in Denver.

Each year, coaches from across the state nominate one outstanding candidate, and finalists are chosen based on an application letter and interview. The finalists are judged on professionalism, dedication, contribution, leadership and attitude.

"I didn't have much information about it," Miller said. "When I was called for an interview, I was surprised."

Miller graduated from Lewis-Palmer High School in 2008. She was accepted into the Air Force Academy but deferred so she could pursue her skiing career.

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She started skiing for the Winter Sports Club two years ago. Now 20, Miller is coming off an up-and-down season.

She made the finals in the last two NorAm events of the year, including a top-10 finish even though she skied all year while learning a new trick set.

While trying to learn the new tricks, Miller said her confidence often took a hit. But she still had a respectable year and said that this upcoming season could be her biggest yet.

Miller admits it has been tough to let go of school and focus solely on her skiing. She's living full time in Steamboat.

"I have high expectations," she said. "I have a lot more confidence in my skiing and tricks. I struggled with that this year. Now I'm entering next season with more confidence. I just know I can compete at this level."

Miller is working at the water ramps at Bald Eagle Lake four days a week. She intends to train through summer and fall with hopes of making the U.S. Ski Team.

"I think she has potential to make it to the U.S. team," said Rob Day, the Winter Sports Club's head NorAm moguls coach. "She needs to keep working as hard as she is. She can't back down from any of her training."

Miller said she'll take several online classes this year and has aspirations to go back to college to study engineering.

But for the first time in her life, she's set on just allowing that to happen when it happens.

"It's a process. I'm growing and I'm learning," she said. "I've accepted that I'm taking next year off. I'm going to focus completely on skiing."