By Kay Hawes, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
You know you've done something great when they start calling you and your teammates the "Golden Knights." And when the Prime Minister of your native country issues a statement that refers to your performance as "brilliant," your life is about to change.
For Ramon Miller, a 15-time NAIA All-American, 14-time NAIA champion and alum of Dickinson State University (N.D.), the past week or so has been unreal. He anchored the 4x400 relay in London for the Bahamas, and he turned in an amazing performance, leading the Bahamas to its first-ever men's Olympic gold medal. One more amazing feat—Miller chased down Angelo Taylor of the United States, passing him in the final 50 meters of the race and defeating the US team, which hadn't lost a final in the 4x400 Olympic relay since 1972.
"I'm just incredibly excited for Ramon. I don't think you could have scripted this any better for him and his country," said Pete Stanton, head track and field coach at Dickinson State. "Ramon is a quality individual and has represented himself, his family, his country, and our university to the best of his abilities. This was definitely a landmark day for Ramon, the Bahamas and Dickinson State University."
The team of Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller won the race with a time of 2 minutes, 56.72 seconds. The U.S. took the silver in 2:57.05 and Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze in 2:59.40.
During the 2008 Bejing Olympics, while Miller was still a student at Dickinson State, he won a silver medal as an alternate, running in the preliminary rounds. This time, Miller was the hero.
So far there's been a huge welcome back party, checks from the Bahamian government and this statement from Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas.
"The entire race from start to finish was a model of discipline, precision teamwork, strategic planning and superlative execution," Prime Minister Christie said. "The final leg of the relay run by Ramon Miller was particularly brilliant."
While at Dickinson State, Miller led the Blue Hawks to a national outdoor title in 2006 and an outdoor national runner-up finish in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Miller was both the outdoor and indoor national champion in the 400-meters in 2008 and 2009, and he earned the national indoor title in the 200 in 2009 as well. He still holds the NAIA national indoor record for the 400.
A 2010 graduate in exercise science, Miller also served as an assistant coach for Dickinson State in the spring of that year.
Miller has had his photo taken with top government officials, and he's going to have to get used to riding in parades and speaking to school children about how David beat Goliath. Perhaps his mom summed up the experience best.
"I'm overwhelmed, I'm elated, I'm excited," Clarice Miller told the Bahamas Tribune. "Words cannot describe the way I feel about the 'golden moment' if you want to call it that.
"I am a proud mom. Very happy to know that he is a part of history, that is indelible, one that will not be erased and one that will be there forever," she said.