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Jamie ‘Link’ Garcia trains athletes through purpose

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 7:39 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Bowling Green athletic trainer Jamie Garcia understands and values the gift of fitness.

That love for sharing fitness with others through his two gyms, under his “Link Elite Training” brand, has helped mold him into the person he is.

“I feel a strong energy in here. I become a whole different person like superman when I’m training in the middle of all of this,” Garcia said. “I have superpowers. They’re beyond imagination.”

Garcia, who commonly goes by “Link,” has spent the last 12 years linking together the athletic potential of Bowling Green’s fitness fanatics. He’s most notably known for helping cultivate several prep athletes into Division I stars. Two of those stars from his lengthy list include current Bowling Green Purples shooting guard and current EKU basketball commit Turner Buttry, and Purples-turned Ole Miss soccer forward/midfielder Whitaker Buchanan.

“A lot of people come here and it’s a growing place like family. It’s special,” Buchanan said.

Special for reasons beyond getting fit.

“He’s always been super positive and taught me to believe in myself even when I’d struggle with confidence,” Buttry said.

Even if you’re not a top-tier athlete, anyone has room to learn and grow with Garcia. South Warren football freshman Colton Vinson has seen his physical and mental health change through Garcia.

“He has put work into me alone that it’s incredible,” Vinson said. “I love going to the gym. And he makes you enjoy working out.”

Garcia’s flight path nearly ended before it began though. When he was 15, he jumped in front of an armed assailant who tried to shoot his friend. The assailant fired his .38 Special revolver gun, with the bullet going through Garcia’s lung and out of his back. Garcia and his friend both survived, but he describes the incident as a “close call with death.”

“If an ambulance came any later than when I left, I could’ve died. “But I believe, I’m a believer. I didn’t think I would die. My life, and what I’ve been through is more than just me being shot.”

Using his near-death experience as a turning point, Garcia turned that into a 23-year fitness career in Texas, Georgia, and later Bowling Green. He’s continued answering more calls for help through his selflessness.

“Jamie’s always been there for me. He’s someone I can call any second of any day. He’d drive over here and help me with anything I needed,” Buchanan said about Garcia’s mentality.

In the end, Garcia continues his sporadic, intense training with love and joy. He uses fitness as a reminder of how to value and appreciate life’s blessings - and how everyone can be a superhero - just like Garcia.

“Link Elite is so special. Express what your calling is. We all have something special. Let’s show and express it,” Garcia said.

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