Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Lee Ho-suk of South Korea, left, and Eduardo Alvarez of the United States crash out alongside Freek Van Der Wart of the Netherlands as they compete in a men's 5000m short track speedskating relay semifinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Olympics: Ex-SLCC shortstop Eddy Alvarez absorbs skating hit

Speedskating » Eddy Alvarez overcomes controversy, advances to 5,000-meter short track relay final.

First Published Feb 13 2014 08:47 am • Last Updated Feb 13 2014 06:50 pm

Sochi, Russia • As a former Salt Lake Community College shortstop, Eddy Alvarez is accustomed to having baserunners try to knock him down on a double-play attempt.

That’s good training for the jostling involved in short-track speedskating, although a favorable ruling saved him Thursday. Alvarez was sent crashing into the ice when a Korean short-track speedskater grabbed his ankle in the late stages of the 5,000-meter relay. Thankfully for Alvarez and his teammates, a review advanced them into next week’s finals in the Koreans’ place.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The sequence of events at the Iceberg Skating Palace left Alvarez feeling "extremely relieved," he said. "It wasn’t a good three minutes that I was out there on the ice. I was very stressed."

As it turned out, the U.S. team of Alvarez, Jordan Malone, Chris Creveling and J.R. Celski — all Salt Lake Valley residents, who train in Kearns — is in strong medal position. That’s because the favored Canada team was eliminated in the other semifinal race when a skater fell.

Alvarez and his teammates had made a strong move through 40 of the 45 laps in their race, before the Korean skater lost his balance and grabbed Alvarez’s right ankle with his left hand. "In a way, it’s a good move from him, but he kind of got caught," Alvarez said. "So I’m just thankful, moving forward."

Alvarez had been disqualified Monday in his heat of the 1,500 meters when he tried to pass and bumped an Italian skater.

Creveling said the relay team deserved to advance, because "even after Eddy fell, we knew that we had done the right thing by making our attack and getting back into the race."

Anticipating next week’s final, Creveling said, "Four years of practice … we’re here, and we’re not going to let this slip away."

In Alvarez’s case, this opportunity has been more — and less — than four years in the making. He barely missed making the U.S. team in 2010, then chose to play baseball for SLCC. Alvarez was an All-Scenic West Athletic Conference shortstop, batting .303 for the Bruins in 2011, before determining that he needed surgery on both knees as a toll of speedskating.

After rehabilitating, he returned to the ice. The Miami native is the second Cuban-American to compete in the Winter Olympics.


story continues below
story continues below

Prior to the relay, Alvarez advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1,000 meters by finishing second in his four-skater heat. "Probably the scrappiest race I’ve ever been in, in my life — a lot of contact, but it was fun," he said. "I had a fun time out there. I made the right moves. It paid off. So moving on, I’ve just got to keep picking people off. That’s my thing."

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.