Jordan Malone of the United States celebrates the bronze medal in the Men's 5000m Relay Short Track Speed Skating Final on day 15 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Jordan Malone's first pair of shoes were a good omen of his Olympic fortunes.
"Little Navy blue, cloth baby shoes with Olympic rings on them," said Peggy Aitken, Malone's mother. She bought them when her son was born in 1984, the same year as the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
A few years later, Malone started racing on in-line skates in the empty parking lot of a Denton hospital.
Twenty years after skating as fast as he could on asphalt, Malone is a bronze medal winner for the men's US Olympic Team.
"I'm still this small time kid from Denton, Texas," Malone said.
He greeted 70 to 100 friends, fans and well wishers at Denton's Pour House on Saturday. Many of them came to get autographs, pose for pictures and see Malone's bronze medal. Malone admits, his still hasn't fully realized the magnitude of his Olympic adventure.
"People ask, 'Did you go to the Olympics?' 'Oh, do you have any medals? Any hardware?' I get to say, 'Yes!' You know, that's the coolest thing in the world," Malone said. ""I wear Spandex once a day for 20 years. You don't think I want some medals to show for it?" Malone joked.
Malone also took time to thank Denton children in attendance. Many that showed up had written him good luck cards from his former school, McNair Elementary in Denton.
"To have my elementary school look up to me, that's huge. That's huge." Malone said.
Fans couldn't stop touching and picking up the skates Malone brought with him. They're the same pair that helped the US men's team win the bronze in the 5000 meter relay.
Malone also brought along a glove with carbon fiber tips used in the games. He said the tips help racer's hands glide over the ice when making their turns on the short track. Malone said he made the gloves himself with the carbon fiber in his garage. In fact, the 25 year-old said every member of the men's speed skating team, including superstar Apolo Ohno, wore the handmade gloves during their races.
Malone's mom, Peggy Aitken, said that her son is also a big businessman. But before he takes up a second career, Malone said he's not done with speed skating and admits that he's looking forward to the 2014 winter games in Russia.
""I have a bronze medal and I'm happy. But I'm not satisfied." Malone said.