Winter Games Athletes
Alvarez temporarily quit short track speedskating after failing to make the 2010 Olympic team, but a circuitous journey back to the ice has him heading to Sochi as the first Cuban-American man to compete in the sport. When he didn't make it to Vancouver, the Miami native played shortstop for Salt Lake Community College and hit .311 in 63 games. He later discovered that he played with 12 tears in both knees during that season. Alvarez spent a year rehabbing after surgery, was bedridden for a month and couldn't even walk without help for two months. He returned to short track in July 2012 and trained with a friend from his days as an inline skater: returning Olympic medalist J.R. Celski. Alvarez made the 2013 World Cup squad and earned three medals during the season. He won a gold and silver in two relays and took bronze in the 500 meters in the opening competition at Shanghai on Sept. 28. Alvarez has a chance to compete in all four events in Sochi and perhaps surpass his older brother as the highest-profile athlete in the family. Nick Alvarez played seven seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system and made it as high as Triple-A.