DUNCAN'S DAY -- FINALLY
The best news of the day is that Dave Duncan made it through training OK.
Duncan is a former UAA alpine skier who since leaving college has become a world-class skicross racer for Canada. This is his second Olympics, but this week will make his Olympic debut.
Four years ago, Duncan broke his collarbone during training two days before his event. The injury sidelined him.
Now 31, Duncan is a medal contender heading into the men's competition, which begins Wednesday at 11:45 p.m. AST. He owns two medals from the X Games and two victories, plus five other podium finishes, on the World Cup circuit.
A few days before the opening ceremonies, Duncan emailed Sochi Report upon learning he'd been named to Team Asterisk, that group of Olympians with Alaska connections.
"Moving to Alaska was one of the best decisions I've made to date," he said.
SEAWOLF HITS SLOPES
Anna Berecz, the UAA alpine skier who is competing for Hungary, finished well off the pace in Tuesday's giant slalom but improved her position with her second run.
Berecz finished 48th in giant slalom, trailing gold medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia by 17.18 seconds.
Berecz placed 53rd in her first run and improved to 48th on her second run.
It's been a busy Olympics for the UAA junior, who has yet to miss a race. Her best showing was a 21st-place showing in super-combined. She placed 28th in super-G and 35th in downhill.
In reading the Los Angeles Times piece about the APU nordic team, Sochi Report was keenly interested in the discussion at the end about the school's mascot, or lack thereof.
Erik Bjornsen said the school's nickname used to the Vikings, which came as a surprise to Sochi Report, which remembers covering the APU Pioneers back in the 1980s.
A quick Internet search produced a 1966 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story about the Alaska Methodist University Vikings, who were headed to Fairbanks to play the Nanooks.
AMU is what APU used to be called. And the Vikings, apparently, are what the Pioneers used to be called -- back when there were Pioneers.
A quick (and partial) history lesson: Bankruptcy closed AMU classrooms in the mid-1970s, but in 1977 a private corporation bought the school from the United Methodist Church and changed its name to APU. In 1986, the school started an NAIA intercollegiate athletic department and named its teams the Pioneers. After four years, the school dropped intercollegiate sports.
That's the story on the Pioneers. Anyone out there remember the Vikings?
Who's on deck?
Biathlon -- Mixed relay, 5:30 a.m. (TBD)
Cross country -- Women's classic team sprint, 12:15 a.m. semifinals, 2:45 a.m. finals (Kikkan Randall)
Cross country -- Men's classic team sprint, 1:06 a.m. semifinals, 3:15 a.m. finals (Erik Bjornsen)
Figure skating -- Women's short program, 6 a.m. (Ashley Wagner)
Figure skating -- Women's free skate, 6 a.m. (Ashley Wagner)
Alpine skiing --Women's slalom, 3:45 a.m. first run, 7:15 a.m. second run (Anna Berecz)
Biathlon -- Women's relay, 5:30 a.m. (TBD)
The youngest figure skating champion in Olympic history was 15-year-old Tara Lipinski, the 1998 gold medalist. One of this year's favorites, Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia, is also 15. If Lipnitskaia wins, she would replace Lipinski in the record book because she is closer to her 15th birthday than Lipsinski was to hers in 1998.
Don't feel bad for Tara, though. She's doing OK. She's got the best job in Sochi -- she's Johnny Weir's sidekick for Olympic figure skating coverage on NBCSN (cable channel 39). If you're watching the NBC primetime coverage instead of Weir and Lipinski's live coverage, you are missing the best thing at the Winter Olympics.