WASHINGTON (Oct. 13, 2014) -- Sgt. Randi Miller, reigning USA Wrestler of the Week, signed autographs and posed for photographs as an ambassador for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command's World Class Athlete Program at the Army Ten-Miler Health & Fitness Expo at the D.C. Armory.
Miller recently won a gold medal in the women's 69-kilogram division of the 2014 Conseil International du Sport Militaire World Wrestling Championships at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
Her most satisfying victory at the CISM World Championships came against 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Agnieszka Wiezczek-Kordus of Poland, who pinned Miller in the first period of their first-round match at the World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
"I was able to bring home a gold medal this time," Miller said. "The tournament actually was pretty tough. One of the girls I wrestled was the girl who beat me at the world tournament a few weeks prior, so it was good to get another chance to wrestle her."
At the CISM Wrestling World Championships, Miller opened with a 6-0 victory over Egypt's Enos Mostafa Yousef, followed by a 10-4 victory over Mongolia's Enkhbayar Tsevegmed. After defeating Wiezczek-Kordus, Miller capped her gold-medal performance with a 2-0 conquest of Chunying Wang of China.
Miller entered the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program last autumn and said she has been pleased with the results.
"It's made a world of difference," she said. "It gives me an opportunity to train and do the things I need to do to make sure I can attain my goals. In 2008, I bronze medaled [at the Beijing Olympic Games] and at that point I took some time off. This is my first season back, and I was able to make the World Team, win nationals and win the Dave Schultz tournament, so I would say it was a good year."
After taking a five-year hiatus from wrestling, Miller decided to return to the mat while watching the 2012 London Olympic Games on television.
"I just got emotional watching the 2012 Olympics," said Miller, 30, who is stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. "I decided either I can be upset about it and be on my couch, or I can get off my couch and be a part of it again."
Miller said she has yet to reach her peak in wrestling.
"I'm nowhere near where I can be -- really," she said. "I say I have two more years left in this sport, and hopefully by that point I can reach my best me."
She said WCAP helps her achieve "consistency" and added that she appreciates being part of a "team dynamic."
"Things of that nature make things easier to train," said Miller, who noted that she never has trained in a wrestling room alongside so many male world-class athletes. "I come from a state (Texas) where women's wrestling is pretty popular, so I was typically trained with girls and around girls. From there, I went to college in Kansas, and from there I went to the Northern Michigan program, and from there to the [Olympic Training Center] program -- so I've always been on female teams."
Miller now is a member of the No. 1 fighting force in the world: the U.S. Army. The Army Ten-Miler was not her first public appearance as an ambassador for the Black and Gold.
"I did the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier this year," she said near the end of a second day of signing autographs and posing for photographs. "It's a lot of fun. I'm glad that I'm here. It's always an honor to be recognized for your work. It's just a good feeling."