Cuban-American Baseball Player and Speed Skater Eddy Alvarez Will Be the USA’s Flag Bearer At the Olympics
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There’s not many Americans who have won Olympic medals in both the Winter and Summer games. In fact, there have only been two. Well, Cuban-American baseball player and speed skater Eddy Alvarez might soon be the third. And that’s not all. His fellow Olympians also voted him as one of the flag-bearers for Team USA.
In 2014, Eddy Alvarez won a silver medal in speed skating at the Sochi Winter games. This year, he is playing the USA’s Olympic baseball team.
That’s right. Eddy Alvarez is one of those rare athletes who is exceptional in more than one sport. This year, for the Tokyo Summer games, he will be representing the USA in baseball. Because of his exceptional credentials, other Olympians on Team USA voted for him to bear the country’s flag at this year’s games. This year’s other flag bearer is basketball player Sue Bird.
In a statement, Eddy Alvarez described how important this opportunity is to him as the children of immigrants. “It is an honor and a privilege to be named as one of the flag bearers by my fellow Team USA athletes for the Opening Ceremony,” he said. “Being a first-generation Cuban-American, my story represents the American Dream. My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to wave this flag proudly. I am grateful for my time with US Speedskating and USA Baseball, as well as for all of my teammates, and I am humbled to lead Team USA into the Tokyo Olympic Games.”
In a different on-camera interview, through tears, Alvarez explained what leading Team USA means to him.
“To be able to lead Team USA is an absolute honor,” he said, his voice breaking. “There’s a lot of sacrifice I’ve had to make in this life, in my athletic career. So, just absolutely, incredibly honored and what a privilege.”
“It’s difficult to speak about,” he said, before hanging his head and trying to compose himself. “As you can probably tell, I’m extremely emotional right now.” He continued: “It really is just a symbol of the opportunity that my family came to this country in search of. I owe so much to my parents, to my family that came over to this country. So, to be able to lead Team USA is an absolute honor.”
And Eddy Alvarez’s journey to the Sochi Olympics truly is the prime example of the American dream.
Born in Miami to Cuban refugees, Alvarez began skating at the age of nine. By the time he was 11, he was placing in national speed skating competitions. In high school, Alvarez paused his speed skating ambitions to focus on his other love: baseball. By the time he graduated, he was offered a full-ride to pursue baseball in college. But, once again, speed-skating called Alvarez’s name, so he declined the offer.
While he was training for the 2014 Winter Olympics in college, Alvarez walked on to the baseball team at Salt Lake Community College. He became a Silver Medalist in speed skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter games. That same year, he was signed to the Chicago White Sox for a minor league contract. In March of 2019, Alvarez officially became a major league baseball player when he was traded to the Miami Marlins. In May of 2021 he was named on the roster of the Team USA Baseball Team .
We’re rooting for you, Eddy! We can’t wait to see you rep the USA on the baseball field. ¡Felicidades!
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