Olympic speed skater Jonathan Garcia and his East Texas connecti - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Olympic speed skater Jonathan Garcia and his East Texas connection

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Olympic speed skater and Katy, Texas resident Jonathan Garcia has trained for years for the Olympics. Garcia's grandmother Sally Welch and his aunt Toni Black both live in Hughes Springs and are incredibly proud of him.

It wasn't too long ago most residents in Hughes Springshad no idea they had a connection with the Olympics, but they do now. It's allover town, thanks to Sally and Toni.

Unfortunately the 1000 meter didn't go his way. He took28th place, but that doesn't change the way the people of Hughes Springs feel.

"I'm very excited, and very proud. He's a winner to usjust by going. He's already got the gold because he went; he made it to theOlympics, so we're thrilled," Toni Black said.

Garcia got his start on roller blades, they told us.

"He roller-bladed, then in 2007, I believe, he switched toice skating," Welch revealed.

Over at the Hughes Springs Municipal Building, they'vebeen following Garcia closely. City Administrator George Fite was hoping tohave a viewing party.

"As you can see, I was just reading here about Jonathan.We're so proud, you know, even though, that he got to compete and do as well ashe did," Fite said.

Garcia's aunt and grandmother say he told them he may notmake it on television.

"He Facebooked me and told me that. He said 'It depends onhow well I skate. I might not even be on there,'" Garcia's aunt said.

And it looks like his heat won't be covered, but the townremains positive.

"He's still a young man and we hope that he'll becompeting four years from now," FIte stated. 

When qualifying for the Olympics, Garcia had the secondfastest time in the 500 meter, but was disqualified because he forgot to wear atransponder in the race. He made sure to wear it the 1000 meter race.

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