Going the distance: Eddy Alvarez endured painful knee surgery to chase Olympic speedskating glory
Alvarez has spent the last year and a half focused solely on skating because this is it for him. He plans to make the team during Olympic trials, which begin Thursday and run through Sunday at the Utah Olympic Oval. He plans to win medals in Sochi, Russia, and then he plans to return to Salt Lake Community College and his baseball career.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” he said of Olympic trials. “I have this opportunity, and I really want to do this for myself.”
Alvarez said he is 95 percent sure this winter is his last on skates. Olympic athletes sacrifice so much for so long that it’s a difficult life to continue living without results, he said.
Athletes dedicate so much of their time and energy into the sport that it becomes the only place they feel comfortable.
“We invest so much time into this, it’s almost hard to be homesick,” he said. “Honestly, the ice is my home. It’s not a great feeling, but it is what it is. It’s all I really know.”
Even if Alvarez doesn’t win a medal in Sochi, he said speedskating has given him a lot.
“A work ethic,” he said. “I’ve always been kind of a lazy guy, and speedskating taught me a work ethic. It helped me take that into baseball. I was doing the extra things, hitting the extra rounds, tossing the extra balls.”
It’s also taught him to “go with the flow” and appreciate the things he does have, rather than pine for what his life may lack.
“I’ve been really lucky,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of support, and without the support none of this would be possible.”
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