Jim Miller, the coach of 2008 Olympic Games time trial gold medal winner Kristin Armstrong, was awarded the Order of Ikkos medallion by the US Olympic Committee for his role at the Olympic Games in Beijing. The Order of Ikkos is named after Ikkos of Tarentum, the first recognized coach of athletes according to Greek history and champion pentathlete in 444 B.C. The award is presented to the personal coach of US Olympic Games medalists.
Miller, who serves as the Director of Endurance Programs for USA Cycling, received recognition from USOC Coaching Education Manager Cathy Sellers during a brief ceremony Wednesday at a coaching summit.
"Although Kristin winning the gold medal in Beijing was reward enough for me, it's an honor to be recognized by the USOC as a component to Kristin's success," Miller said. "In our profession, it should always be about the athlete, but for the USOC to take the time to recognize the coaches of Olympic medalists is nice."
Miller has been Armstrong's coach since 2002 and has played an important role in her many successes including a world time trial title, three world championship medals and five national titles.
"Winning the Olympic gold didn't happen overnight," Armstrong said. "It has been six years of hard work from not only myself, but also from Jim. As I have grown as an athlete, Jim has grown beside me as a coach, always keeping me one step ahead. One of the keys to my sustained success at the international level has been Jim keeping my program interesting.
"After medaling and then winning the world championship (in 2006), one would think, 'if it's not broken, then why fix it?' But Jim has always taken a different approach when training me. He is always thinking about how he can make me faster physiologically as well as keeping on top of the latest equipment and technology trends," said Armstrong. "There hasn't been a year that's gone by in which we've done the exact same program. There is always change, which keeps training interesting and both of us motivated.
"Once we have success or failure, we put our heads together and talk about what our next goal is. It has been an amazing partnership. We won this Olympic gold medal together."