The Winter Olympics kick off in the Russian city of Sochi – and Texans will have four homegrown athletes to cheer for.
San Antonio's Justin Olsen and McKinney, Texas' Johnny Quinn are competing in two-man and four-man bobsled events. Houston's Jonathan Garcia is competing in the long track, 1000-meter speed skating event. And Denton, Texas' Jordan Malone Malone will race in speed skating's short track 500-meter and 1,500-meter competitions, and its 5,000-meter relay event.
Quinn and Garcia are newcomers to the Olympic Games. Quinn didn't begin his bobsled career until 2010, when an ACL injury took him out of NFL free agent contracts with the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers.
Garcia, a former inline skater, began speed skating six years ago. During the Olympic trials in Kearns, Utah, Garcia originally qualified for the 500-meter event with a personal best time, but was subsequently disqualified for failing to wear ankle transponders – sometimes used as timing devices in races. Garcia qualified for the 1000-meter event, earning his spot on the U.S. Olympic team, the day after his disqualification.
Malone and Olsen are both Olympic veterans, having competed in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Malone was a bronze medalist in the men’s 5000-meter speed skating relay, and Olsen took home a gold medal in the four-man bobsled event.
The Olympic opening ceremony airs in the U.S. tomorrow evening. Daily event schedules can be found on the Sochi 2014 website.
Via Jordan Malone's Instagram account, the four Texans competing in Sochi.