After winning his second national title, Miller has his sights set on winning an Olympic gold medal.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Miller, who won the Greco-Roman national title at 97 kg for the second straight year in December, isn’t focused on just making it to this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“The ultimate goal is to win the Olympics,” Miller said.
By taking gold at the U.S. Nationals, Miller solidified his spot in the Olympic Team Trials to be held at Penn State University in April, where he will join at least five other Marine teammates.
One reason Miller believes he’s been able to win back-to-back national championships is the progress he’s made in overcoming mental adversity.
“Perseverance through adversity is a huge thing for the Marine Corps, and it’s a big thing that I have continued to grow with since I’ve been here with the wrestling program,” Miller said.
The guidance of Jason Loukides, the All-Marine Wrestling Team’s coach, also has played a big role.
“Coach Loukides is a phenomenal coach,” Miller said. “He is not only phenomenal in wrestling and the mental aspect of sports, but also in your personal life and your professional life as well. He has guided me in a lot of ways.”
Next up for Miller and several of his fellow Marines is a United World Wrestling Ranking Series event in Rome this week.
The key for Miller in his next competition is to stay consistent with his approach.
“As far as mindset going in there, it’s just one match at a time, going into every match like it’s a gold medal match, just like we go into every battle with the same mindset,” Miller said. “[That mindset] is we need to come out at the end with a victory, and if we don’t fight as hard as we can in each of our battles, then the odds of us getting defeated increase drastically.”
That battle-minded philosophy instilled in Miller and his teammates by the Marine Corps will be the catalyst as they make their push for the Olympics.
“That [fighting] culture is inherent to our organization, and I think that it is just coming forward in our wrestling, which it should, because the mentality doesn’t change,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, we are Marines and we are going out there representing the Marines Corps in a specific hand-to-hand combat way. [We] still have that same attitude, that same professionalism, and we don’t forget that.”