Eddy Alvarez has earned his place in Olympics history…
The 31-year-old Cuban-American speedskater-turned-baseball-player and his Team USA mates lost to Japan 2-0 in the 2020 Tokyo Games men’s baseball gold medal game at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, having to settle for silver.
But in the process, Alvarez – Team USA’s starting second baseman – has done something six people have ever accomplished – win a medal at the Summer and Winter Olympics. And, he’s the first Latino to accomplish the feat.
“Feels like déjà vu. Just as heavy as the other one. Same color. A little bit of a different design,” Alvarez said. “But it’s still an incredible journey, an incredible experience, a great group of guys I’ve created a bond with for the rest of my life so I can’t wait to enjoy this moment back home.”
Only six others have accomplished the feat. Americans Eddie Egan (1920 – boxing, 1932 – four-man bobsled) and Lauryn Williams (2004 – 100-meter sprint, 2012 – 4×100 relay, 2014 – two-woman bobsled) are two of those on the list.
The others are Norway’s Jacob Tullin Thams (ski jumping in 1924 and yachting in 1936), East Germany/Germany’s Christa Luding-Rothenburger (speedskating in 1984, ’88 and ’92 and sprint cycling in 1988) and Canada’s Clara Hughes (cycling in 1996 and speed skating in 2002, ’06 and ’10).
“It’s hard to describe it, because it’s like bittersweet, but at the same time, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” Alvarez said.
“I had no idea this is where I was going to end up. Once I retired from skating, never in my wildest dreams would I ever think I would have the chance to come back to the Olympics.”
Alvarez won a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games as a member of the 5,000-meter speed skating short-track squad.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, when you come so close to winning and you fall short,” Alvarez said of his silver medals. “At the same time, it’s one of those things that I know will hit me eventually, of how incredible and blessed I am to be a part of this.”
But Alvarez isn’t the only Latino to earn a silver as part of the US men’s baseball team…
Triston Casas, the 21-year-old Latino first baseman; 28-year-old Puerto Rican infielder Jack Lopez; and 31-year-old Latino pitcher Nick Martinez are all part of Team USA at this year’s Games.
It’s the first Olympic hardware for the three.