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Olympic figure skater Donovan Carrillo makes history for Mexico

The 22-year-old is the first figure skater in 3 decades.
Beijing Olympics Figure Skating
Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 11:50:19-05

BEIJING — Mexico’s one and only figure skater in the Winter Olympics is making history.

22-year-old Donovan Carrillo is Mexico’s male first figure skater since 1992 and only the fourth ever in the country’s Olympic history.

Carrillo is also the first-ever Mexican figure skater to advance to the free skate final.

He performed to a medley of “Black Magic Woman” and “Shake It”, by Santana on Monday.

The figure skater completed a short program with a personal best score of 79.69.

Carrillo told Reuters that this accomplishment is “like a dream come true.”

His journey to the Olympic games hasn’t been easy.

For one, there are no Olympic-sized rinks in Mexico and his local rink in Guadalajara closed when he was 13.

So, he and his coach moved three hours away to León, Guanajuato, where he could train at a miniature rink at a mall.

That means he’s had to maneuver and skate around amateurs and children.

Carrillo also wasn’t allowed to play his own music because he was in a public space.

The Olympian has also struggled financially.

He and his family have crowdfunded about $2,400 so he could continue training.

Eventually, the Mexican government began funding him as an elite athlete.

Carrillo will compete again Wednesday to perform his longer free skate.

He said his goal is to improve and look ahead to the future.

“I think this Olympics – thinking more in the future – are going to be key to prepare myself for the next Olympic cycle, with the main focus on Milan 2026,” he said.