SOCHI, Russia -- Another day, another crash for Eddy Alvarez.
The short track speedskater from Miami did not advance out of his quarterfinal heat in the 1,000-meter race Saturday after he was taken down by a Canadian skater who fell in front of him.
Alvarez was on his third lap when Charles Hamelin slipped, inadvertently elbowed Alvarez in the face and slid into Alvarez’s legs. They spun into the pads. Alvarez was left with a bloody and swollen lower lip.
“He got me good; my dad would be proud,” Alvarez said of his father, Walter, an engineer who used to be a boxing promoter. “My face has seen better days.”
Because Alvarez was not among the top two when he fell, he was not waved on to the semifinal by the referee. He finished third.
“Charles was like, ‘I’m sorry, man’ in his French accent,” Alvarez said. “I said, ‘It’s OK.’ He’s a great skater. It’s unfortunate for him. It’s unfortunate for me, too, but it’s part of the sport. It was a freak thing.”
Alvarez’s teammate J.R. Celski fell in the fourth quarterfinal and did not move on. He was leading after four laps when he tripped.
Alvarez, 24, a Miami Columbus High graduate, and his U.S. teammates were advanced to the 5,000-meter relay final after crashing because of the fault of a South Korean skater. Alvarez was penalized and disqualified from the 1,500 meters for pushing another skater while trying to pass.
He will compete in the relay and the 500 meters — which he considers his best event — on Friday.
Hamelin, a three-time gold medalist, said he caught a groove in the ice. Russia’s Victor An and the Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt were in the lead and avoided the accident.
An, formerly an Olympian for South Korea, went on to become the first man to win four Olympic gold medals in short track when he won the final.