MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) —A South Florida inline skater who traded his wheels for ice skates, is headed to the Sochi Olympics, making him the second Cuban-American from Miami to make it to the U.S. Winter Olympic team.

Eddy Alvarez skated along South Beach as a kid. Next month, he will show off his skills on a much larger stage, competing in the sport of short track speedskating.

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The 23-year-old Alvarez is the second Cuban-American from Miami to make the U.S. Winter Olympic team. Two-time bronze medalist and four-time Olympian speedskater Jennifer Rodriguez used to train at the same ice arena.

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Alvarez says he nearly gave up his quest to reach the Olympics two years ago due to the pain of damaged knee tendons. He underwent surgery and spent weeks nearly immobile on the family couch.

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The Winter Olympics take place Feb. 7 through Feb. 23 in southern Russia.