«The dream is there for the taking».
After years of chasing it, Miami-Dade’s own Eddy Alvarez may finally catch an elusive spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
The 23-year-old from Christopher Columbus High School will compete in the short track speedskating trials this weekend with the hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in February.
“I want it bad,” Alvarez admits. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I dream about it. I wake up and it’s one of the first things I think of.”
Alvarez gets his chance Saturday on home ice. The Cuban-American will skate in the men’s 500 meters on the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns. That’s the same track that the former Miami resident trains on.
“This was a dream, a goal of mine since I was a kid. I want to stand on that podium. I want to represent my country and my background, my family, my parents, so it’s a lot more than just making the team,” he says. “But it’s a step at a time. I can’t think too far ahead, because the first goal is to get on the team.”
The journey from the Gables to Kearns hasn’t been an easy one. Alvarez quit more than once and surgery nearly derailed the dream altogether.
In March 2012, after two years away from the sport, Alvarez had surgery to repair torn patellar tendons in both knees. The former inline skater was forced to go the surgical route after exhausting every other avenue including five platelet-rich plasma injections.
“It was a chronic pain. It was bad. There were days I would cry myself to sleep. We tried everything but I didn’t have time to waste. The doctor said you might not be able to skate ever again, but it was a chance I was willing to take.”
So Alvarez had both knees repaired at the same time. He was immobile for four weeks.
“That was a tough time,” Alvarez recalls. “One of my lowest. My all-time low. I was ready to quit. I was bedridden. I couldn’t walk.”
Seguir leyendo: Sochi 2014