- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

READING, Pa. (AP) - Lisa Cervantes will treasure the moment forever.

It was Jan. 5 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Kearns, Utah, and her son Kyle Carr had just made the speedskating team that will compete next month in the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“To see the joy on his face when he knew that he had a spot on the team, my heart just burst,” said Cervantes, whose maiden name is Godown and who grew up in Hunterdon County.

“It’s what every mother wants for their kid, to see that joy and his dream realized,” she continued. “Everything that he has put his feet on the ice to accomplish, everything that he has done, has led up to this point. There’s no other feeling like it on Earth.”

Carr, 27, was born in Hunterdon County and still has family there and in the Lehigh Valley. His father, Chris Carr, lives in the Nazareth area.

Kyle Carr and family lived in Holland Township but moved to the Reading area when he was 11.

He is one of two members of the U.S. speedskating team with ties to this area and roots in the Frenchtown Roller Rink in Kingwood Township. The other, 27-year-old Chris Creveling, is a 2005 graduate of Palisades High School in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County.

Carr and Creveling - both from roller-skating families that flourished in this region - are set to compete at the Winter Olympics on the 5,000-meter speedskating relay team. The games run Feb. 7-23.

Carr’s grandfather, George Carr, served for 30 years as a floor guard at Frenchtown Roller Rink. He helped paint the new rink when it moved from Frenchtown to its current place off Route 29 in Kingwood Township in the mid-1970s, said Kay Pinkerton, whose family started the rink and still runs it today.

That this area can now lay claim to two Olympians is nothing short of mind-boggling, Pinkerton said.

“The only thing I can say is our little rink produced very good skaters just because of the love of the sport. It’s what we do,” Pinkerton said.

For Carr, making the Olympic team caps a years-long odyssey that began when he suffered a severely broken wrist as he climbed the ranks of inline skating when he was 13, according to his mother.

Soon after, skating coach Shawn Walb took Carr under his wing and introduced him to speedskating. Walb coaches the East Penn Speed Skating Club, which trains in Bethlehem and Reading.

“He got on the ice and he never looked back,” said Cervantes, who grew up in Alexandria Township and is a 1983 graduate of Delaware Valley Regional High School. “It wasn’t very long before Kyle hung up his inline skates for good.”

Carr left Gov. Mifflin High School in the Reading area after his junior year and moved to Marquette, Mich., to focus on becoming a world-class speedskater. He suffered a broken ankle in November 2005 that set him back and then failed to make the cut for the Olympic team at the 2010 Olympic Trials at Marquette.

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