Two Latinos On Roster For U.S. Speed Skating Team



Credit: Wikimedia Commons
South Florida and Texas don’t seem like places that would produce world class speed skaters. Norway, Canada and even Minnesota sure, but Miami and East Texas? Really?
Really. Just look at the U.S. speed skating team’s roster for the Sochi Olympic Games and the names of two “southerners” stick out: Miami-born short track skater Eddy “The Jet” Alvarez, 24, and Texas’s Jonathan Garcia, 27, who races the more traditional long track.
Despite growing up over 1,100 miles from each other, Alvarez and Garcia have similar sporting backgrounds. Both began their sporting careers on wheels. Alvarez inline skated around Miami Beach and was drawn into competitive skating by his admiration of Jennifer Rodriguez, another American speed skater from Miami.
Alvarez, however, almost never got the chance to see his Olympic Dreams come true after an ultrasound revealed that he had 12 tears in his patella tendons and, after surgery on both knees, he was forced to lay in bed at his parent’s home in Miami, practically immobile.
Alvarez had been plagued for years with knee pains – keeping him off the ice for periods of time and also hindering his career as a shortstop for Salt Lake Community College.
“It was getting progressively worse,”Alvarez told Salt Lake City’s Deseret News. “I thought going to baseball would give my knees a break … I would come home and take my pants off and my knees were swollen like softballs.”
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