Local Olympian's family talks about his journey to Sochi

Published On: Feb 10 2014 03:53:39 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 10 2014 03:33:00 PM CST

Feb. 9, 2014: A man who graduated from Katy Taylor High School is the only Houstonian competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Rachel McNeill reports.

HOUSTON -

Katy's own Jonathan Garcia will represent Team USA in the men's 1000 meter long track speed skating event. When Local 2's Rachel McNeill sat down with his parents, as a mom of two boys, she had to ask if they ever scratch their heads and think what's a boy from Houston doing in the Winter Olympics.

"Oh, very excited, it's just been a dream come true," said his dad, Joseph Garcia.

He says ever since his son and Katy Taylor High School grad Jonathan Garcia made it onto Team USA, the calls and congratulations have been pouring in.

"The support is just real touching to me because people just all over you know who were friends just reaching out. It's been awesome. I mean, and it's so deserving for him and he's worked so hard, you know," said Joseph.

So how does a kid from Katy make it to the Winter Games?

"He's going to the Olympics and he was born and raised in Texas. Who thinks of someone skating ice at the Olympics from Texas?" said Marianne Welch, Jonathan's mom.

She says her son fell in love with inline skating after an elementary school birthday party at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink.

"When he was a senior in high school, the USOC came to contact these skaters, the top 10 women and the top 10 men in the U.S., to offer them a program called Wheels to Ice," Welch said.

Jonathan moved to Salt Lake City to train four years ago. It's a 12-hour, 6-day-a-week commitment.

"He gave up a lot, he sacrificed a lot," said Welch.

And it paid off. He is now the only Houstonian in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Stepmom Kay Paschall says Jonathan is an inspiration.

"He just set a goal and he landed his goal and we both said, ya know we'd love for him to medal in Sochi, but to us he's already hit his goal," Paschall said.

As far as watching Jonathan skate, his mom covers her eyes until the race is just about over, dad is the calm one and stepmom goes wild. What an exciting time for this family.

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