Alvarez settles for silver, rare 2nd medal with U.S. loss

Aug 6, 2021, 7:15 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2021, 7:31 am

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Not every Olympic dream ends in gold. Most don’t span ice and dirt, either.

Speedskater-turned-second baseman Eddy Alvarez’s journey didn’t need to apex atop an Olympic podium to go down in history.

Alvarez and the U.S. baseball team accepted their Olympic silver medals after losing the championship game 2-0 against Japan on Saturday night, capping a remarkable run for the 31-year-old Miami Marlins minor leaguer.

A silver medalist in 2014 at Sochi as part of the U.S. four-man short track team, Alvarez turned to baseball later that year — a path that ultimately led him back to the Games.

He was assured a second medal when the Americans beat South Korea in the semifinals Thursday, becoming just the third American and sixth Olympian with medals at the Winter and Summer Games.

The accompilshment left him sobbing in the dugout, keenly aware of and affected by the weight of his feat.

Gold, though, would’ve meant a little something more given the circumstances of his silver.

His short track team lost gold in the 5,000 meter relay to a foursome of Russians, three of whom were banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Games amid accusations that Russia ran a state-backed doping program.

“I won’t lie to you. I do feel cheated. There probably was some suspicion going on there,” Alvarez said Thursday.

He called Saturday “a little redemption trip,” hoping gold might wash out some of that Sochi silver disappointment.

Not that he’ll be hanging his head with another silver around his neck.

Alvarez joined Eddie Eagen (boxing in 1920, bobsled in 1932) and Lauryn Williams (track and field in 2004 and 2012, bobsled in 2014) as the only Americans with medals from Summer and Winter Games.

The others are Norway’s Jacob Tullin Thams (ski jumping in 1924 and yachting in 1936), East Germany/Germany’s Christa Luding-Rothenburger (speed skating in 1984, ’88 and ’92 and sprint cycling in 1988) and Canada’s Clara Hughes (cycling in 1996 and speed skating in 2002, ’06 and ’10).

Alvarez came into the gold medal game hitting .350 with three RBIs in the tournament. He had one of the Americans’ six hits in the final, a night they couldn’t solve a quintet of pros from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

An otherwise anonymous Triple-A infielder with the Miami Marlins, Alvarez was among the marquee names at these Olympics, carrying the American flag along with basketball player Sue Bird at the opening ceremony. A tattoo of the Olympic rings poked out from under his uniform on his left bicep as he played, and it was fitting that the leadoff hitter was the first American to receive his silver on the podium — teammate Eric Filia draped it around the infielder’s neck for him.

The moment capped a wild 12-month span for the Miami native. He made his major league debut Aug. 5, 2020, after a COVID-19 outbreak that ravaged the Marlins’ roster.

Exactly a year later, he was sobbing in the dugout at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, assured at least of a silver medal.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Brazil's Neymar reacts after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match betwee...
Associated Press

Pelé sends message of support to Neymar after World Cup exit

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pelé congratulated Neymar for matching his national team scoring record on Friday, and then commiserated with the player for his World Cup exit. Pelé, who has been hospitalized while being treated for a respiratory infection, posted his message on Instagram after Brazil lost to Croatia in the quarterfinals […]
17 hours ago
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, embraces quarterback Baker Mayfield after the Rams de...
Associated Press

Rams’ lost season suddenly brightened by Baker magic

Now imagine what Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay can do with two practices together. That’s the prevailing thought around the Los Angeles Rams while they head into a highly enjoyable long weekend after their stunning, come-from-behind, last-minute 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night. “That was a special night,” McVay said Friday. […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Kansas school’s students disciplined for offensive behavior

Several students at a Kansas high school have been disciplined for their behavior during a high school basketball game after a coach accused them of making offensive chants toward his team. Topeka High School Coach Geo Lyons said his team was subjected to “racial slurs, threats and disgusting taunts” by students from Valley Center High […]
17 hours ago
A man holds an Argentinian flag prior to the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Nether...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 18

Highlights from the 18th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Friday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
17 hours ago
FILE - Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud celebrates after a long run against Indiana during the se...
Associated Press

Georgia QB Bennett is old-school Heisman Trophy contender

NEW YORK (AP) — At a time when Heisman Trophy winners are usually on their way to being first-round picks in the NFL draft, Stetson Bennett is a contender from another era of college football. The Georgia quarterback already has a national championship ring and this season he has stepped up his own play in […]
17 hours ago
Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a ball during the penalty shoot out at the World Cup q...
Associated Press

Croatia wins yet another penalty shootout at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — When it comes down to a penalty shootout at the World Cup, count on Croatia to make it through. Twice already at the tournament in Qatar and twice four years ago in Russia, the Croats had to steel themselves for one of the toughest — and certainly one of the […]
2 days ago
Alvarez settles for silver, rare 2nd medal with U.S. loss