Saturday Scorecard: Dudek enjoys trip "up north"
Welcome to Saturday Scorecard, where thoughts of March Madness and Brewers ticket sales seem to have added at least 20 degrees to the temperature here at headquarters.
Spring is on the way. Here are some thoughts to ponder as we prepare to see Dropkick Murphys blow the roof off the Bradley Center (figuratively speaking, of course) following the Admirals' game against Chicago tonight.
The five-ring circus: If you think watching your Olympics TV watching habit is bordering on addiction, you should see how cool it is to compete.
"It's wonderful," U.S. speedskater Alyson Dudek said this week from Vancouver, where she and her teammates won a bronze medal in the 3,000 meter relay. "I can't even describe it. All the people who are here are here for the same thing. We're all focused. We're all devoted. We're all in love with our sports. You have to be here to know what it's like. You see people in their team jackets. Everyone is just so happy to be here. It's really neat."
Dudek, 19, who grew up in Hales Corners and began her Olympic journey with the West Allis Speedskating Club at the Pettit National Ice Center, is the only short-track racer on her team from Wisconsin. Though the schedule is demanding, with 10-hour daily practice sessions in Utah the norm, her experience the last few weeks already has her thinking about the 2014 Games in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
"I definitely want to want to make that team, especially being here now," she said. "I'm even more motivated. This experience has been so amazing. I really want to do it again."
Though the Vancouver Games have drawn some flak for logistical problems with venues, etc., Dudek said life in the village has been better than she imagined.
"The people I've talked to that have been to several Olympics said this village is the most impressive," she said. "It really is a village. Every building is different. They're all different sizes, shapes and colors. A lot of times, athletes stay in buildings that are like dorms. These are condos. They're selling these things for like a million dollars (after the Olympics). I have one roommate and we each have our own bedroom. There is a huge bathroom, which is gorgeous and a kitchen and living room. It's awesome. We're getting spoiled here."
Dudek said she has drawn inspiration -- and training tips -- from watching mens star Apollo Anton Ohno.
"I've been skating with him every day for three years. He's eight years older than me. This is his third Olympics. I learn so much from him. He is the best in the world. He's stronger than everyone. He has the best strategy. It's really amazing. He's a very smart skater. I learn a lot by watching him. he's a really great guy. It's really neat to have him as a teammate."
Dudek has taken online college courses for the past two years, but hopes to take a full course load at the University of Utah, which is 30 minutes away from the training center.
"(Skating) is a full-time job, she said. "It really, really is. We practice about 10 hours a day, have a two-hour break around lunch and we're back at the rink again.
"Next year, I want to go into school and take a full load. The stress will be a little lower."
In the mix: Marquette, which is vying for an NCAA tournament bid, faces key games this week at Seton Hall and at home against Louisville. The Golden Eagles are healthy and confident, not to mention battle-tested by a number of close finishes. Lazar Hayward and Jimmy Butler have been key contributors, but Joe Fulce has turned in some solid minutes lately, too.
In trouble: Former Bucks guard Alvin Robertson was known for playing great defense during his NBA playing days. Now, he's going to need a great defense. Robertson was one of seven arrested in a sex trafficking ring in Texas. Details are here.
Larry King Lounge: It's going to be hard to go back to "American Idol" after the Olympics ... If I'm casting "The Evan Lysacek Story," I want Adrien Brody in the lead role and Andy Dick playing Johnny Weir ... The toughest decision I'll make on Sunday -- whether to eat Fritos or Combos during the U.S.-Canada hockey game ... Speaking of hockey, Mike Emrick is awesome ... The next time I see Tiger, I'm going to tell him that Powerade tastes better than Gatorade, anyway... Former Marquette star Dwyane Wade won't play for Miami against the Bucks this weekend due to a calf injury. The more games he sits, the more he'll realize that the Heat isn't very good... Speaking of the Bucks, how much do you think playoff tickets will cost?... If you are a Charlotte Bobcats fan -- and there have to be a few -- you hope Michael Jordan knows what he's doing ... If you need a baseball fix, the Brewers will televise spring training games March 8, 15 and 27 on Fox Sports Wisconsin. The first radio broadcast will be March 6, when they take on the Giants in a split-squad game at Maryvale Baseball Park.
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