Surprise! Atlanta man helps Olympic mom go to Sochi | News
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- "I knew if I was meant to go, it would happen," Lisa Cervantes said with tears in her eyes. She found out live on the 11Alive News at 7:00, an anonymous Atlanta businessman would be paying her way to Sochi so she could cheer her son towards his Olympic dream.
We first introduced you to Cervantes in the basement of Trek Bicycles in Peachtree City. She shows no mercy as she leads an hourlong spinning class.
"This should feel really easy. You could do this all day long."
But once she's upstairs, Skyping with her son, the walls come down.
FULL COVERAGE | Follow the road to the Sochi Games
"He's such a cutie isn't he?" she says with pride.
He is. And he's a cutie who has had quite a journey.
Kyle Carr began skating at age 1. It's not surprising, considering Cervantes was a nationally ranked skater.
"He skated up to me when he was 7 years old on inline skates. We were at a parking lot and he skated up to me and said, 'Mom I'm going to the Olympics,'" she said.
At 14 years old, Kyle traded skating wheels for blades and took to the ice. He was a natural, racking up national wins and a reputation as a budding young speed skater.
Then came the setbacks.
In 2006, he broke his ankle right before the Olympic trials. In 2010, he missed the team by 1/100 of a second.
But 10 days ago, 20 years after he told his mom he was going to the Olympics, Kyle Carr qualified for the short track speed skating relay team.
Via Skype, Carr told us, "I don't even know how to put it into words. Something you work ... you change your whole lifestyle to become an athlete. It's not just when you go to the oval, it's the most amazing level of satisfaction you can imagine."
Carr is far from home at the U.S. Training Center in Salt Lake City.
"As an athlete you need that fan base as encouragement and the support I've received from the community has been just amazing," he said.
Behind this great athlete is a great mother who sacrificed time and money for as long as she can remember, because her little boy had a dream.
"For me, his mom, I see that 7-year-old little boy saying 'I'm going to the Olympics' -- and he is," she said.
Since Kyle just qualified 10 days ago, his family is scrambling to try to get Lisa Cervantes to the Olympics, and it's not easy with all the visa and travel restrictions ... and money. All and any money went to Kyle, so he started a 'Go Fund Me' website so hopefully his mom can be there with him.
By Thursday night, the fund topped $6,000. It's a huge showing of support form the community, but it wasn't enough. An Atlanta businessman wanting to remain anonymous stepped forward to say he would pay the difference. Klye's mom is going to Sochi.
11Alive's Brenda Wood broke the news live during the 7:00 newscast Thursday night. Cervantes was at first confused, then surprised, then tearful.
Trek Bicycles is holding a bike ride to raise money for the trip. Learn more about the bike ride.