This was supposed to be a major year on the ice for Miles Addison. The longtime figure skater and pairs partner Kay Bergdolt were expected to be a contender on the national novice circuit, a year after Addison and Bergdolt finished seventh in the novice pairs division at the national championships in their backyard of Greensboro, N.C.
Instead, Addison is throwing blocks and catching passes on the football field, giving up his lifelong dream of skating in the Olympics for a chance to play one season of high school football. According to the News & Observer, it's a change in life course that almost certainly assures the Enloe (N.C.) High senior -- who is on the far left of the back row of players in the photo above (he wears number 82) -- won't skate in the Olympics, and that he may never skate competitively again.
"I've been bugging [Enloe football coach Ron Clark] ever since freshman year," Addison told the News & Observer. "I've always wanted to play, but I couldn't because skating restricted me."
Now those restrictions are gone, and Addison is proving that he won't just be a symbolic figure in his lone season on the field. The senior is a starting wide receiver, and already has one touchdown grab.
He also has had a notable initiation-style moment familiar with all football players: he's been laid out by an opponent. Fittingly, it happened on just his second play on a field.
"I just got trucked," said Addison, who can now laugh about it. "I didn't get up until the whistle blew."
While Addison's former skating partner has moved on -- Bergdolt turned down invites to summer international competitions on behalf of the former skating pair -- and his mother is still getting over feeling "devastated" when her son decided to switch sports, the football player himself hasn't regretted the decision at all.
"I probably wouldn't be here right now if we would have medaled," Addison told the News & Observer. "But we didn't.
"I knew before I even came out that I would love it. This is something that I've been waiting a long time for."
- Miles Addison