It’s time to
come in from the cold Wisconsin air and settle in for the 2014 Winter
Olympics, Feb. 6-23 in Sochi, Russia. With memorable champions
including Eric Heiden, Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen and members of the
"Miracle on Ice" 1980 hockey team, our state’s winter
sports legacy runs deep. But let’s not rest on our laurels — we’ve
got five good reasons to cheer for Team USA 2014.
Long-track skating gold medalist Casey FitzRandolph of Verona, whom
Dudek first met when she was a beginning skater. "I was
star-struck and inspired. He signed my picture with ‘Believe and you
Moments: Walking into the Vancouver opening ceremony as a wide-eyed
19-year-old, cheering on her teammates, winning a relay bronze medal
of her own, and celebrating at the closing ceremony.
Take: "Short-track is fast, exciting, energetic, unpredictable
and dangerous," says Dudek, and she’s not kidding about the
unpredictable part. The U.S. women’s relay, a medal favorite, missed
out on the Olympics due to a disqualification in a World Cup race.
Dudek will be giving it her all in the individual races.
Bet You Didn’t
Know: "I love to cook — anything that is fresh, local, unique
and nutrient-rich, I am all over it! I stay active with cycling, yoga,
weights and running, and want to get into kickboxing."
If the Pettit
National Ice Center were a country, it would have more Olympic
speedskating medals to its credit than most of the nations in the
Winter Games. Everyone who’s anyone in the sport has practiced or
raced on its 400 meters since its opening on a frigid New Year’s Eve
in 1992. Chicago-born Shani Davis is the latest (and arguably the
greatest) to make the Pettit his training home, with four Olympic
medals so far. Watch for him in the sprint races and for training pals
Jonathan Kuck, Brian Hansen, Trevor Marsicano and Nancy Swider-Peltz
Jr., in the distance events.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who scored the gold
medal-winning goal for Team Canada in 2010. "His talent and hard
work are consistent in every game. He’s overcome many injuries, and
his perseverance is one of the main qualities I admire most."
Though they’ve never met, Decker and Crosby both attended
Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a boarding school in Minnesota with a strong
hockey tradition; Crosby’s younger sister, Taylor, an aspiring
Olympian is a senior there.
Memory: Watching the U.S. women win gold in soccer at the 2012 London
Games, after having lost in the World Cup final the year before.
"The reaction and looks on their faces after winning a gold medal
is something I hope to experience."
Take: "You never know what play will be the difference-maker in
the game. It may be the simplest play that gives one team the
Decker is quick to thank her parents, John and Marilyn, for their
support. "My three brothers Bryan, Ben and Brody, have made me so
competitive, and I appreciate them more than any of them
Curling has been
a hit with spectators and the TV audience since it joined the Olympics
in 2002. The men’s and women’s teams have plenty of connections to
our state; women’s alternate Allison Pottinger earned her master’s
at UW-Milwaukee and the Brown family of Madison is represented on the
men’s, women’s and Paralympic teams. Find out why curling rocks at
the Milwaukee Curling Club’s new $3.8 million home at the Ozaukee