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Carson's Maria Garcia successfully switches tracks

September 29, 2009 |  8:35 pm


Maria Garcia of Carson, a member of the U.S. short-track speedskating team at the Turin Olympics and part of the successful program of the Southern California Speed Skating Assn., missed a chance to qualify for the Vancouver Games when she fell hard during the Olympic trials earlier this month in Marquette, Mich.

But that didn't end Garcia's Olympic hopes. She switched to long-track skating even though she had no experience with that discipline and, remarkably, qualified to compete in the 500-meter event at an Olympic qualifying event in late October in Milwaukee. She might also try to get a qualifying time in the 1,000.

"Why not!? My love of sport is through the journey," she said of making the switch. "Life will always continue on. Qualifying for the long-track Olympic trials is just as possible as it is impossible. I may come nowhere close, but it will be pure joy every step of the way. That's what sports and life should be about, always looking and rising to your next challenge."

We'll follow Maria's rerouted journey in the coming weeks.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Maria Garcia. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press