Garcia Disqualified While Inliners Reign

Posted: December 29, 2013 by Admin in Racing Information

Third Back-up Timing Method

Speed skater Jonathan Garcia skated the fourth fastest times in the 500m distance at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Kearns, Utah. Garcia, however, will not receive one of the four spots on the mens 500 meter team. Garcia pulled a Kara Peterson and forgot to put on a timing chip.

The timing chip at Olympic Trials is the “third back-up timing method.” That method is used in some races and not used in others, not many races need a third back-up. Unlike making this mistake in inline, where your timing chip is often the only method of determining your time, Garcia’s Olympic qualifying time was not in dispute. The first two timing methods did not fail. Despite no dispute as to his time, the rules require all skaters to wear the chip. Shani Davis was the beneficiary and will make the 500m team.

Imagine the frustration. Years of training, years of dryland, years of a diet devoid of favorite foods, years of personal and career sacrifice, and a third back-up timing chip could have kept him from Sochi. Garcia successfully qualified for the U.S. Olympic team on December 29th in the 1000m distance.

Overcoming Obstacles on the way to Trials

Inliners seem to love carnage – so here is an incredible story of carnage and recovery. Kelly Gunther fell and her blade sliced through the bone on her other leg. She has recovered and made the team (see below).

Here is a story about Rebekah Bradford Plath overcoming a pulmonary embolism. Plath skated well at Trials, but came up just short finishing sixth in the 1000m. We wish her and Erik the best.

The Team . . . so far.



  • Mitch Whitmore
  • Tucker Fredericks
  • Brian Hansen
  • Davis


  • Garcia
  • Davis
  • Hansen
  • Joey Mantia.

Yes, Joey makes the team. He has made incredible strides in the past year. I saw him skate head to head against Shani Davis in Milwaukee a year ago November. He was clearly over matched and it didn’t seem one year would be enough time to make up the ground. Justin Stelly wasn’t able to make up the ground and had a disappointing Trials.


  • Jonathon Kuck
  • Emery Lehman (17 years old)
  • Patrick Meek



  • Heather Richardson
  • Brittany Bowe
  • Lauren Cholewinski
  • Sugar Todd


  • Heather Richardson
  • Brittany Bowe
  • Sugar Todd
  • Kelly Gunther

Inliner Heather Richardson had this to say about fellow inliners: “It’s really special this time because all of us inliners are here together,” said Richardson, who competed in the 2010 Olympics with Cholewinski. “I grew up skating with Brittany and Lauren, and to qualify for the Olympics together is a really special moment.”


  • Jilleanne Rookard
  • Anna Ringsred

Trials take a day off on Monday. Tuesday competition will resume with the 1500m competition. Wednesday will be the final events: Mens 10k, and the Womens 5k.

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