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2022 Olympics: Donovan Carrillo becomes 1st Mexican figure skater to qualify for free program

Donovan Carrillo is confident that his historic run at the Beijing Olympics is the start of something greater for ice skaters in Mexico.

The 22-year-old competed in the men's short program on Tuesday, the first Mexican figure skater to appear at the Olympics in 30 years. He successfully landed a quadruple toe loop, triple axel, and triple lutz–triple toe loop combination, and made history by becoming the first Mexican figure skater to advance to the free skate, which will take place on Thursday.

The path to the Olympics was a bumpy one, with Carrillo saying there were times when his family could barely pay for his skating lessons. He also had to deal with naysayers who told him "this was a crazy dream," Carrillo told Olympics.com. "People were always laughing or telling me it wasn't possible for a Mexican to qualify."

He did whatever it took to keep his figure skating dreams alive, including training at a shopping mall ice rink in León, Mexico, because it's the only one available. "It's challenging, I'm not lying," Carrillo said. "But instead of regretting and thinking of what I don't have, I always try to work with what I have."

Carrillo, who is already looking ahead to the 2026 Milan Games, said he hopes the boys and girls watching the Olympics at home in Mexico are "inspired and find my story as a motivation for them to look for their dreams, dare to try figure skating because maybe they can find their passion in it as I found it."