Oscar Miers – Taking the family name to new heights
9 October 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Competing at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an incredible achievement, but being the second person in your family to compete on a world stage makes it all the more sentimental.
Oscar Miers is Australia’s YOG high jump representative and over the past 12 months he has increased his PB by a whopping 21 centimetres, cementing his bid for a spot at the YOG.
However, Miers’ prowess comes as no surprise, with athletic talent running in his genes.
“My Mum, Monique Miers (nee Dunstan), was a sprinter who actually competed alongside Cathy Freeman,” Miers said.
Monique won gold with Freeman, Kathy Sambell and Kerry Johnson in the 4x100m relay at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and silver in the 1994 Commonwealth Games with Freeman, Melinda Gainsford and Kathy Sambell.
Having a parent who knows the ins and outs of international competition might just give 16-year-old Miers an edge over his competitors.
“Coming in to the competition, Mum gave me some great tips on what to do and how to prepare, but she also wanted to make sure I knew it was more important to make the most of the experience, rather than worry too much about what the result would be,” Miers shared.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a great opportunity to get experience that I can take into open competitions, so apart from giving it my all performance-wise, my goal is to just take it all in, meet as many new people as I can, and maybe even learn to speak a new language!”
Miers began high jumping when he was 11 years old, his Mum was a sprint coach at the time and would take Oscar out on the track with her.
"I saw people competing in high jump and thought it looked amazing," he said. "I did the sport for a year, but didn't take it very seriously. I kept injuring myself so gave it up, but that only lasted about four years," he continued.
"In the beginning of 2016 or 2017 I gave it another go, just out of curiosity and it was there that my current coach Nik Bojic and Gary Bourne saw me jump and noticed potenital in me.
"Since then, I've continued my training, have been increasing my PB and am loving the sport."
A success in his own right, Oscar enters the YOG ranked in the top 6 of the world for his age category, winning the U18 Melanesian Championships and the National U18 Title with a leap of 2.14m.
To put this into perspective, the silver medalist for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics also jumped 2.14m.
Miers is set to compete in the qualifying stages of his event on October 11 (October 12 AEDT) and says he is in great form.
“My last training session before competition was today and it went really well, better than I expected,” he shared.
“I’d had a bit of a bad run with injury in the past, but at the moment I’m feeling really good.”
After his campaign in Argentina, the Brisbane youngster has his eye on Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024.
“Tokyo 2020 is on the agenda, but I will still be very young then, so I’ve set bigger sights on Paris 2024,” he said.
Until then, Miers next big event is the School State competition, just one week after he lands from his whirlwind adventure in Buenos Aires.