Boynton Beach father heading to Sochi to cheer on son - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Boynton Beach father heading to Sochi to cheer on son

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By Jeff Skrzypek

BOYTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The streets of Sochi right now are filled with patrols in a tense countdown to the 2014 winter Olympic games.

Possible security threats are casting a shadow over the Russian city as both athletes and their loved ones prepare for a trip half way across the world. 

Joseph Mantia of Boynton Beach is preparing to make the journey. He is going to watch his son, Joey Mantia, 27, compete in long-distance speed skating. "This is absolutely the biggest day of his life, and there are hardly words to describe it." said Mantia. 

His son, who began his career on inline skates, is going for the gold in Sochi. Like most events throughout his life, Joseph will be in the stand despite the recent flurry of terrorism threats in Russia. 

"It upsets me so much that the terrorists get the limelight and press. When these kids have put so much time and effort of their life to be where they're at and you don't hear anything about that," said Mantia. 

His main concern is for the athletes. Some Olympians have told their parents to stay home. Mantia cannot bring himself to stay in the U.S. "If something happened, I would feel horrible that I'm here and not there. Whether I can doing anything or not, I would still feel better if I was there," he said. 

When he is in Russia, Mantia said, he will be staying in the Olympic Village and will not be venturing out to explore. He said he will not let it ruin his experience and the moment he and his son Joey have waited a lifetime to see. 
     
"You can't live your life in a bubble. You have to say that they lose because if you do (live your life in a bubble), then they win, and I'm not going to let them win," said Mantia.

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