A skater’s tribute to Boston

Published On September 27, 2013 | By Alice Cook

Through the years choreography has defined the world’s best figure skaters.  In 1984, Torvill and Dean  revolutionized ice dancing with their on ice rendition of Bolero.  In 1996, 15 year old Michelle Kwan rocked the skating world as the temptress Salome.  Katarina Witt depicted a tantalizing and playful Carmen, and Brian Boitano won Olympic gold as Napoleon.

A skater’s inspiration can come from many places. For Watertown‘s Ross Miner, it came from his own backyard.  It was Marathon Monday when Ross and his coach Mark Mitchell  were at the rink trying to come up with ideas.

“I was trying to find the right program,”  Ross said.  “I was sitting there and Mark’s phone kept going off, then I got a call from a friend.  I turned CNN on my phone and realized there had been an explosion down there where (Mark)  lives.  It just didn’t seem real.”

Three days later, Ross and his parents were locked down in their Watertown home.

“On Thursday, going into Friday we got a reverse 911 coming from the Watertown police saying ‘stay home, lock your doors, lock your windows.’  I went to bed and my dad woke me up and said,  ‘you have to watch the news Ross’ and we sat there the whole day. We couldn’t leave.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured one block from Miner’s home- right up the street from the gym he goes to every morning and his favorite restaurant.

“I heard the flash bangs going off from my bedroom window, but I felt it was the safest place in America that night.  The Watertown police did a fantastic job.”

The skater and coach both lived in places close to the tragedy and manhunt.  There were emotions and memories that they would never shake.  In the wake of the tragedy Mitchell heard  a piece of music.

“It is from an album by composer Michael W. Smith, called ‘Glory,’ said Mitchell.  “When I listened to it I could see and hear those things. When we started to talk about it, we went through all the different emotions that he and I felt during that week.”

During a face time chat, Mitchell noticed that Minor was wearing a Boston Strong  t-shirt.

Mark said then, “Ok, we are doing this. This is it. This is the sign.”

Miner is the current U.S. men’s silver medalist.  He will be vying for one of two men’s spots on the  US Olympic team this January when the US Figure Skating Championships come to Boston’s TDGarden.

His program will tell the story that begins the morning of April 19, 2013 and will continue forever.

“The first section is about what a beautiful day it was. A holiday. Patriots Day,” says Miner. ” Then there are two booms.  The next section is the aftermath, with a slow motion, shell shocked feel to it.  The next section is the man hunt which is very driving and immediate.  After that, it’s the relief that the terrorist is captured, along with the joy and pride of being a Bostonian.”

Recently skaters from the Skating Club of Boston graced the ice at the Garden to help promote the Championships.  There were the ladies in their beautiful sequins and chiffon, and the guys with the tuxedo look.  Miner wore a blue t-shirt with yellow lettering. “Boston Strong.”

Ross Miner wants to make the Olympic team.  He also wants to touch 16,000 hearts in that building- which might be just as important as silver or gold.

For more information on the US Figure Skating Championships visit Boston2014.com







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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and Boston.com. She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.