Mexican figure skater Donovan Carrillo made sure that 2022 Winter Olympic Games viewers around the world knew he was born to compete with the greatest athletes in the sport. During a career-best performance in the short program on Tuesday (February 8), Carrillo proved to everyone that he belonged in Beijing.
“I always wanted to be at the Olympics,” Carrillo told the media after his performance Tuesday. “I used to talk about this dream with people. They were always laughing or telling me that it was impossible for a Mexican to qualify.”
Now, the 22-year-old figure skater, who is the first Mexican skater to compete at the Olympics in 30 years, has advanced to the longer free skate competition on Thursday (February 10). This will be the first time in Olympic history that Mexico will be represented in the event.
“Besides doing my best short program during the season, I think my favorite part of this whole experience was the performance during the competition,” he said. “I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to keep skating and living the Olympic dream.”
Throughout his life as a skater, Carrillo has never let anyone tell him that he shouldn’t be pursuing his dreams to be a champion ice skater. Even when he was a child, it was something he fought to overcome.
“When I was a kid … many people at school told me, ‘Oh you’re a girl,” Carrillo told the Associated Press. “They sometimes even think that to practice an artistic sport, it’s going to affect your (sexual) preferences as a person. I never thought that. I think that’s one of the reasons of why we don’t have many male skaters in my country.”
Donovan Carrillo added, “For me to be qualified for the free skating, it’s like a dream come true.”