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In the Winter Olympics in South Korea, once again, American television audiences warm to the expert bobsled commentary of John Morgan (born in 1950) who has narrated the complexities of this sport since 1984. What is less known about Morgan is he has been a life long rugby player, and also a successful rugby entrepreneur.
Morgan was born into a bobsledding family from upstate New York, including his father and brothers. He was on the USA Men's National team in 1978-79 but this team comprised of Morgan brothers failed to qualify for the 1980 Olympics.
In 1984, he began covering bobsled races for ABC sports, continuing on to CBS, and, finally, to NBC the current broadcaster of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. He made a guest appearance in the 1993 Disney movie "Cool Runnings," about the Jamaican bobsled squad. In addition to the quadrennial winter Olympics, he has also been the voice of the Speed Channel's broadcasting of bobsled and skeleton racing.
Morgan played rugby for Westchester RFC in the 1960s, and later at Saranac Lake. He has been one of the innovating driving forces behind his hometown Saranac Lake's annual Can-Am rugby tournament, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year.
Other past commercial rugby initiatives include a TV series called "Rugby World" and also, at one time, his company JFM Sports, owned the domestic television rights to the Hong Kong 7s. In addition, he organized a Rugby League 7s side, the American Patriots that competed in Australia. Finally, he arranged an international "friendly" between the USA Men and Ireland, played at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, in 1995.
Morgan has been a long time booster of rugby sevens in the USA, and is an annual spectator at the Las Vegas Sevens (March 2,3,4) and he also comes to the Penn Mutual Insurance College Rugby Championship (June, Philadelphia).
Providing succinct, expert bobsled commentary to an American television audience remains his prime vocation. In 2002, he became an honorary member of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation.