One of Huntsville’s very own is headed off to Europe later this summer to represent the United States on the global stage.
Chris Miller — who aside from a stint in the Marine Corps, has lived in Huntsville his whole life — is set to compete in the EURO World Championships for knife and axe throwing in England from August 8-11.
“I'm really excited to do it,” Miller said. “I'm ranked in the top-10 in the world for both knife and axe throwing, and now I get to go over there and compete against our best. They have some really good throwers, so I'm looking forward to testing my skills. To be the best, you have to go against the best. ... That's the only way to truly gauge yourself.”
This year’s event will mark a historic occasion for Team USA, who is sending a full team overseas for the first time.
“In Europe, teams are a huge deal. Here in America, it's usually just singles,” Miller added. “We don't do a lot of team competitions in knife and axe throwing. ... Over there, your nation's team is a big deal.
“Up until now, we've only had one, two or three people able to go over from the United States because of finances. This is the first time that we've ever been able to send a team of more than just a few. We're sending a total of 10 people to go represent the United States.”
Miller became intrigued with knife and axe throwing after watching events on television. He picked up the sport in June 2012, and won his first world championship later that year. Since then, he’s claimed a total of eight US and world championships.
Currently, Miller juggles practicing with his role as director of logistics for Blade Aces Precision Action Sports — which is headquartered in Las Vegas, but relocating to Tennessee in the near future — as well as his full-time job with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. It’s a tough balancing act, but fortunately for Miller, he’ll have an opportunity to get in extra preparation during the coming weeks.
“It's extremely hard. I'm on the road for two or three weeks out of the month, and trying to get practice in here and there is pretty difficult. I'm lucky that I'll be in town the next couple weeks, so I'll be practicing every day when I get home.”
In addition to competing against and having fun with some of the best in action sports, Miller is looking forward to the chance to help grow knife and axe throwing’s popularity.
“I'm going to have a lot of fun, reminisce with old friends and try to do the best I can,” Miller said. “This type of competition in England may have a few hundred people show up just to compete, and thousands of spectators. Blade sports in the United States is just growing. ... That's our biggest goal, to get people interested in it.”
For those interested in getting involved with this year’s event, Miller and Team USA still have a few openings for sponsors. Among the perks for sponsors is having their logo silk-screened on the Team USA uniform. For more information, contact Chris Miller at (936) 577-4812.