Jonathan Garcia in 2007
|Born||December 14, 1986|
|Height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||64 kg (141 lb)|
|Coached by||Ryan Shimabukuro|
Jonathan Garcia (born December 14, 1986) is an American speed skater who is scheduled to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Garcia began his skating career as inline speed skater, winning his first national title in 2004. He represented the United States three times in the World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2006. In 2007, he represented the United States at the Pan American Games before transitioning to short track speed skating on the ice.
In 2010, Garcia made the short track World Cup team, won a national title. He finished 14th at the 2010 Olympic Trials. Garcia won a second national title in 2011 before transitioning to long track speed skating. He made the World Cup team in 2012 and the World Championships in 2013. At the 2014 Olympic Trials, Garcia appeared to qualify for the team in the 500-meter sprint, only to have his time disallowed due to his failure to wear a backup timing device. The following day Garcia made the Olympic team by finishing fourth in the 1000-meter event.
Jonathan Garcia was born December 14, 1986, and grew up in Katy, Texas, in the Houston metropolitan area. In 1994, he began inline skating at age 7. He graduated from Katy Taylor High School in 2005.
In 2004, Garcia won his first national championship in inline speed skating and was named Inline Skater of the Year. He subsequently made three world teams and won a bronze medal at the 2006 Inline World Championships in Korea. In 2007, Garcia represented the United States at the 2007 Pan American Games. He finished fifth overall in the distance contest after placing third in the 20,000-meter elimination, sixth in the 10,000 meters, and fifth in the 15,000 meters.
In 2006, Garcia watched fellow Texan and former inline skater Chad Hedrick win three gold medals at the Olympics. Hendricks' wins inspired Garcia to make the transition to speed skating in hopes of making an Olympic team. To pursue his dream, Garcia moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2007 to begin training on the ice. After a season of training, he decided he was best suited for short track. In 2010, he made the United States World Cup team and won the national 3000-meter title. He competed in the 2010 short track Olympic trials, finishing 14th overall. In 2011, Garcia won the national 1000-meter time trials.
In 2012, Garcia transitioned to long track speed skating amidst turmoil within the short track team. He made the long track World Cup team that same year and represented the United States at the 2013 Long Track World Sprint Championship.
As the United States Olympic Trials in December 2013, Garcia turned in time of 34.85s, 0.29 better than his personal best, in his second 500-meter race. His combined time from two skates placed him fourth, and Garcia appeared to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics. However, he had failed to wear a transponder, which serves as a third timing device in some races, on his ankle. Garcia's time was disallowed as a result. He was granted a re-skate, but his re-skate time was good enough for only sixth place, outside qualifying position. "Today was tough, especially because I qualified that fourth spot," Garcia remarked. "I know I was good enough to be on the team. That’s something nobody can take away from me," he added. Shani Davis, who claimed the fourth spot after Garcia's disqualification remarked "I was really pulling for Garcia to pull through and make the spot, even if it knocked me off the team ... I want the best skaters to go."
The following day, Garcia skated in the 1000-meter event where he was given "no chance" to qualify by many commentators. Garcia, however, turned in a career best 1:07.95 and moved into fourth place with several skaters remaining. No one who came after Garcia bettered his time, allowing him to qualify for the Olympics. "I was definitely doing some praying after my race," he said. "Not to sound weird or cocky, but I kind of feel like I already made the team yesterday." After qualifying, he skated a celebratory lap holding the timing transponders above his head "[you] might as well be able to make fun of yourself," he commented.
As of 2013, Garcia lives in Salt Lake City. When he is not speed skating, he plays soccer competitively. Garcia lists listening to music and playing guitar as his favorite hobbies. He calls Michael Jordan his greatest influence.
|Men's speed skating|
|500 m||35.14||November 15, 2013||Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City|
|1000 m||1:07.95||December 29, 2013||Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City|
|1500 m||1:45.99||December 31, 2013||Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City|
|3000 m||4:00.17||October 5, 2013||Pettit National Ice Center, Milwaukee|
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- Jimmy Galvan (December 31, 2013). "Katy's Garcia earns spot on Olympic team". Katy Times. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- "Jonathan's Bio". Jonathan Garcia. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Jonathan Garcia – US Speedskating". Team USA. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Robert Burnson (July 25, 2007). "Gold Rush in Rio". Inline Planet. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Jonathan Garcia". US Speed Skating. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Amy Donaldson (December 29, 2013). "Jonathan Garcia earns redemption, spot on US Olympic long track team with PR in the 1,000 meters". Deseret News. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Nick Zaccardi (December 28, 2013). "Strange DQ as Heather Richardson, Shani Davis qualify for Sochi". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Amy Donaldson (December 28, 2013). "Jonathan Garcia wins, then loses his Olympic spot while eight skaters qualify for Winter Games". Deseret News. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- "Jonathan Garcia". SpeedSkatingResults.com. Retrieved January 5, 2014.