American swimmer Cody Miller had ups and downs at the 2019 Pan American Games, and his latest Vlog post chronicles that journey and the stark contrast of emotions that come with being an elite athlete.
Early in the video, Miller gives a tour of the athlete and fan zones at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. He then races to a silver medal in the 100 breaststroke and (around the 4:45 mark) talks about his emotions after that race. While his time of 59.57 wasn’t a season-best, he focused on the positive in a vlog filmed that night.
“Tonight was a really, really, really fun time. I very much enjoyed myself. Just the feeling of being behind the blocks, about to race, the energy, the atmosphere, the crowd was so energetic and happy to be there,” Miller said in the segment. “Representing Team USA at a high level meet like this, I’ll never take for granted again after missing some teams and having really bad seasons, I just feel like everything I get to do now is icing on top. Although my time wasn’t as fast as I would’ve liked it to be tonight, the time was a little disappointing, but ultimately winning a medal is amazing. Winning a silver medal for myself, my teammates, my country, feels really really good. At the end of the day, how can I be upset with taking home a silver medal for the United States? This experience I’m not going to sour just because this result wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be. Obviously I would’ve loved to win gold, obviously I would’ve loved to have a faster time, but all that aside, I think more important than those things are the experience, and just enjoying everything, enjoying being here.”
After showing us around the dining hall and into his room, (some of his roommates are water polo players), and a real meta moment at 7:40 where someone is holding up a Cody Miller Vlog sign in the stands during a Cody Miller Vlog shot, he gives a rare look behind the blocks in the final of the mixed medley relay at around the 8:30 mark. The excitement and the afterglow of Team USA touching first and winning what they thought was a gold medal.
At that point, the video takes sort of a dark turn. From the post-race chills Miller cuts quickly to a shot of him sitting inside of a church at around the 8:50 mark in the video. A much-more somber Miller appears in front of the camera, where he talks about how much fun he was having in the first half of the meet, and then begins to address the elephant in the room: that the American mixed medley relay was disqualified after touching first in the final after he was called for taking multiple dolphin kicks on his underwater pullout of the breaststroke leg. Team USA says that they have video that disputes the call, but declined to share that video when we asked.
“And then things really went downhill,” Miller said. “I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to even upload a video this week. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use all of the footage that I did shoot for this vlog. But then I realized that despite what happened and despite everything that’s kind of going on with me, I wanted people to see how fun it is, or that I was having. I wanted people to see the joy of winning a medal at a high level meet like this. I wanted to take people through it, I wanted people to experience it.
“And now on the flip side, I want people to see a little bit of the other side as well. And so long story short, I haven’t been doing really well…the last week, has been just terrible and disastrous for me. I’m going to unpack that, I’m going to go into what happened the rest of the meet, I’m going to dive into that stuff and address things that I’ve never really addressed before. But not right now, I will get into that in a few weeks. But right now, I’m going to take a few weeks of vacation…clear my head, and just kind of get away from everything. I really need that personally.”
Miller says that he and his wife Allie are going to spend 2 weeks in South America, climbing mountains, and relaxing, and that he’s going to “stay the hell away from social media.”
He signs off with a commitment to “get through it” and “have some fun,” and promises again to talk about what he’s been dealing with.
Miller launched his vlog in October, 2017 and since then it has grown into a wholly unique and massive property in swimming that gives the deepest behind-the-scenes look at the life of an elite swimmer that the sport has ever had. As of posting, his channel has over 106,000 subscribers, and his most-viewed video (how to blow perfect bubble rings) has 2.4 millions watches. Miller won gold as part of the American medley relay and bronze individually in the 100 breaststroke at the 2016 Olympic Games. After qualifying for the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 World Championships, Miller missed the 2019 team and instead swam at the Pan American Games.
Watch Miller’s Full Vlog Below: