Ice Network

Jimmy greets worlds: Morgan details 'double' life

Boston-based pairs skater delves into meaning of passion in figure skating
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Between being a competitive skater and working on the LOC for the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships, Jimmy Morgan has a lot on his plate. -courtesy of the Skating Club of Boston

Jimmy Morgan is a Team USA senior pairs skater who lives and trains in Boston. He also works as the web and social media coordinator for Worlds 2016. He is keeping a season-long blog for icenetwork.

What is passion? To me, passion is the energy flowing out of an individual as he or she exerts every fiber of his or her being to succeed in something. That "something" could be anything, anything at all. Passionate mothers ensure their child has everything they need to grow up to adulthood. Passionate students study until they achieve proficiency.

But how does passion relate to skating? Passionate skaters spend their young lifetimes putting all their resources toward becoming the best skater possible. We see passionate skaters every day. They're in the news, they're in the spotlight with various traveling shows, and they might even be the background on your computer or iPhone. At any given competition, there may be upwards of 20 passionate skaters in each discipline.

But what about the tens of thousands of people in the stands? I'd argue that's where the true passion lies.

My name is Jimmy Morgan, and this is the first in a series of blog posts chronicling my journey and thoughts as a competitive pairs figure skater who also works for the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships local organizing committee. I train 20 hours or more a week and work for the Skating Club of Boston as a web and social media coordinator, where I focus most of my energy on the upcoming world championships in Boston. I skate, I work, I live a double life -- and I love every second of it.

Through my work, I'm connected to the figure skating world now more than ever. I'm on the Internet scouring the forums. I'm searching all over Twitter for the latest skating news. I'm staying up all night to watch competitions in Japan. (Time zone differences are the worst.)

What's the common thread in everything I see? The passion of the skating fan community.

I've seen the most impressive displays of passion in the time I've spent as a fan in the world of figure skating. There are countless blogs discussing who has the best footwork, dresses and hair. There are Twitter fan accounts devoted to cataloging what a certain skater is up to. I've witnessed some pretty nasty online fights over who deserved to win the Olympics, worlds or even a small senior B competition in Canada.

The passion of the skating fan community has even impacted a campaign we've been working on in Boston -- the Worlds 2016 "Logo-A-Gogo" campaign. We've asked fans to take a photo with the Worlds 2016 logo in an interesting place. The number of photos we've received in just the first four months has blown us away. So far, the campaign has crossed the globe, making appearances on six continents. That's what I call passion.

Here's what I've learned so far...

  1. Passion doesn't have to be practiced. I've heard of people having a passion for figure skating since they were 3 years old. I've also heard stories of fans in their 30s who were introduced to skating by a friend just last year. When it comes to being passionate about something, there's no time amount required. It's as easy as finding something that interests you and devoting time to that interest.
  2. Passion isn't always good. Passion can be known to take over and make a person lose control of judgement and reason. Benjamin Franklin said, "If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." Or in figure skating terms, don't let passion turn you into someone like Jimmy MacElroy's stalker.
  3. Passion can lead to amazing things. Skaters train so hard that they achieve that final amazing performance at the Olympics. Passion. A skating fan saves up for months to buy a ticket to witness his or her favorite skater become world champion. Passion. A financially struggling skater can still train because of generous donations from fans all over the world. Passion.

In short, while the passion of figure skaters is undeniable, we can't forget about the thousands of people supporting skating athletes every day. Passionate fans throughout the world keep this sport afloat. Whether it's through money, heartfelt messages or just thoughts, the support of the skating fan community does not go unappreciated.

As a skater, I've noticed your passion, and through my work, I've discovered its power. And all I'd like to say is: "Thank you."