Eddy Alvarez Marvels at 'Déjà Vu' of Historic Second Medal, Says Winnings Will Go Toward Son

"I'm not saying I am the greatest athlete ever to walk this planet, but to be in that elite group is something special," the U.S. Olympic baseball player and former speedskating medalist said

With a new silver medal — his second — Olympic baseball player Eddy Alvarez told reporters on Saturday night that the last few years of his life were still sinking in.

"I had no idea this is where I was going to end up," he said. "Once I retired from skating, never in my wildest dreams would I ever think I would have the chance to come back to the Olympics."

Seven years ago, after Alvarez helped the U.S. men's speedskating team win a relay medal, he sounded equally grateful: "It's so relieving," he said then. "I literally feel like I just came out of a spa."

The double medals mean Alvarez, 31, has now entered a highly selective club of Olympians as one of only six athletes — including just two other Americans — to ever make the podium in both a Summer and Winter Games.

"I'm not saying I am the greatest athlete ever to walk this planet, but to be in that elite group is something special," he told The New York Times recently.

"Just to be that small percentage of that small percentage is nuts," he said.

Eddy Alvarez
Eddy Alvarez. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Alvarez's sports career has zigged and zagged: A Florida native, he was a high school and college baseball standout who grew up skating and who decided to focus on speedskating in the years before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

Afterward, he went into the minor leagues and made his major league debut, with the Miami Marlins, last year.

His Tokyo Games have been something of a breakout: He and basketball star Sue Bird were flagbearers for the U.S. at the opening ceremony and they drew raves from no less than First Lady Dr. Jill Biden when she met virtually with some of the Team USA athletes before the Olympics officially began last month.

Though the U.S. Olympic baseball team fell to Japan in the gold medal game on Saturday, 0-2, their defeat of South Korea in the semifinals ensured they all walked away with a silver.

"Feels like déjà vu," Alvarez, an infielder and the team's lead-off hitter, said on Saturday.

"It's just as heavy as the other one," he told reporters. "Same color, little different design, but it's still an incredible journey, an incredible experience."

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He has said he plans to use the bonuses paid out to American medalists — $22,500 for each silver — for his family.

Eddy Alvarez
Eddy Alvarez (center) with his family in June. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

"It's going to be a little different now that I have a son," Alvarez said of his 1-year-old, Jett, according to the Times. "It'll go toward him."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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