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Olympic hero's homecoming as smooth as ice

May 10, 2010

Greenfield — During an autograph signing last week, Olympic medal winner Alyson Dudek was as excited to greet well wishers as they were to meet her.

Dudek, the winner of a bronze medal for her part in the short track speedskating 3,000-meter relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, appeared at Pyramax Bank's Greenfield office, 7001 W. Edgerton Ave., during a meet and great for bank customers and the public.

During a two-hour session, the Hales Corners native spoke to a crowd of about 35 people about how appreciative she is for the community's support.

"I would not be where I am without the support of family, friends and people like you," Dudek told the crowd that ranged in age from young children to seniors.

Meeting an inspiration

Cathy Adamus of New Berlin brought her grandchildren, Greenfield residents Dylan Abbott, 10, and Kaitlyn Abbott, 7, to meet Dudek, get a look at her bronze medal and skating gear and get an autograph.

"It's inspirational to see our Olympians. Backing them is part of backing our country," Adamus said.

She's equally happy to have brought her grandchildren. "It's wonderful. It gives the kids the inspiration to be and do the best they can," Adamus said.

Dylan Abbott, an aspiring Olympic skateboarder, was also enthusiastic about meeting Dudek.

"It's cool and awesome," said the young athlete who also plays football, soccer and baseball. Abbott added that seeing what Dudek has done let him realize what is possible if he sticks tp his goals.

Dylan's sister Kaitlyn, who is involved with gymnastics, she said she could relate to Dudek.

"It's pretty cool, I look up to her," she added.

Enjoying the 'home' circuit

In an interview, Dudek said she loves kids and enjoys going to schools and talking with students - something she's done a lot of since returning to Wisconsin after the Olympics. She also said she's grateful for a chance to spend time with her family and friends after living and training in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"I love the Hales Corners community and the support they've shown me. I don't get enough time here living half-way across the country," she said.

Fans will have the chance to see Dudek compete at an event in the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis in early October. In the meantime, she returned to Salt Lake City this week to continue training and prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Alyson Dudek personal stats

Birthday: July 30, 1990

Birthplace: Hales Corners

Education: University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S., Milwaukee

Teams: 2010 U.S. Olympic Team, U.S. National Short Track

Hobbies/interests: cooking, movies, reading, writing, and family time in Hales Corners

Olympic idol: Casey FitzRandolph, also from Wisconsin

Favorite food: lasagna & Gatorade

Favorite sports team: Green Bay Packers/Donald Driver

Sports played: long track speedskating, softball, track

- Source: alysondudek.com

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