On a Roll, Morgan Ray Eager to Make More Noise on the Para Global Stage

Morgan Ray

On a Roll, Morgan Ray Eager to Make More Noise on the Para Global Stage

The calendar says it’s a little more than a year shy of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. It also means the 2024 Paralympics – also slated for the French capital – are just around the corner. One of the athletes who may enjoy success while representing the United States is Morgan Ray.

Ray was born with a genetic condition called achondroplasia, which affects a protein in the body called the fibroblast growth factor receptor. It is essentially dwarfism caused by a genetic mutation. Although he was diagnosed with this condition at birth, Ray has not let anything disrupt his drive for greatness. A long list of accomplishments in the pool serves as proof.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Ray grew up swimming. Following his eldest brother, Mason, he trained under the Bolles School Sharks for several years. Ray’s love for swimming was exemplified day in and day out through his habits and actions. He has an extremely welcoming personality, but when it comes time to race, Ray is a fierce competitor who lets little deter him. His passion for his faith, music, and community activism gave him a unique platform that would later be joined by his impressive athletic accomplishments.

A Rising Star

Ray would routinely have successful seasons in age-group competition, putting up numerous best times. He practiced what he preached, coming early to every training session, committing to his stretching routine, and acting as a leader in his group. This approach paid dividends for him, and his success stretched beyond the local level. It only took him a few seasons to progress into a high-level national and international athlete. He is a versatile swimmer, putting in competitive times across multiple strokes and distances. The 100 breaststroke, 400 freestyle, and 200 individual medley were common events in Ray’s repertoire.

In 2018, Ray qualified for the United States Paralympics National Championships. At this competition, his talent in the pool was on full display. He placed second in the 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley, and 400-meter freestyle. Additionally, he earned third place in the 100-meter freestyle and fourth in the 50-meter butterfly.

Ray was no stranger to success. His impressive performances across the events helped him to gain confidence against tough competition. The following year, he qualified for the Para Pan-American games in Lima, where he placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke. This effort proved that Ray could compete on the international level. The Covid year of 2020 presented its challenges, as it did for many athletes. Ray was able to train, but he needed to adjust his schedule and workout routine around the pandemic.

After undergoing an intense training period, it was time for Ray to focus on the big goal. The 2021 Paralympic Trials were not going to come easy. The best swimmers were on their “A” game at this meet, but Ray was determined. He put together huge drops in all his individual events, evidence that his training had clicked. At this point, all he could do was wait for the official announcement. Ultimately, Ray was named as an alternate for the Paralympics.

In 2022, Ray was swimming in his prime. He took gold at the Indy Para World Series in the 100-meter breaststroke, set six American records, and took home a silver medal at the Para World Championships. With these performances, he solidified himself as a definite medal contender for World Championships and Paralympic Games to come.

Giving Back

Ray has used his success to give back to his community. He has partnered with several foundations and seeks to motivate others by sharing his story of perseverance. He was able to connect with certain brands that gave him the platform to speak out and spread awareness.

Ray was recently accepted to University of North Florida School of Nursing for the Fall of 2023.  He has shown his commitment to academics and life outside of his beloved sport. He has been named to the US Para World team roster in Manchester and has put the world on alert for some big performances in the months ahead. Ray is grateful and excited for the future, saying: “I am looking forward to some fun times and fast swimming, all while representing Team USA on one of the biggest stages.”

A kid from Florida who fell in love with swimming at a young age has let nothing stop him in his life, and that very trait has carried him to successes he once dreamed about.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas Washington
Thomas Washington
11 months ago

I have been watching his progress over the past few years on our family FaceBook entries and have been both pleased and amazed. He is an inspiration,

1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x