SOCHI, Russia -- First came the stress of competition. Now comes the fun of being a fan.
Short-track speedskater Alyson Dudek of Hales Corners, Wis., didn't advance out of her heat in the women's 1,500 meters at the Sochi Games on Saturday.
Dudek, who had not competed in the 1,500 in any World Cups this season and was unranked, led her heat with five laps to go but finished fourth in 2 minutes 27.899 seconds. The top three advanced to the semifinals at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
"I was drawn a really hard heat because I didn't have a ranking going into this competition," she said. "I put myself in a really good position (by) placing myself at the front of the pack, which gave me the best chance. I let my guard down at one point . . . I can't really be disappointed, though."
Dudek also failed to advance out her heat in the 500 on Monday.
She is finished competing, because the women's 3,000-meter relay team did not qualify for the Sochi Games. Dudek won a bronze medal with the relay team four years ago in Vancouver.
Now, she'll get a chance to have some fun with her family and friends.
"I have an entire week here and I plan on checking out the mountain village, which I wasn't able to do in Vancouver," Dudek said. "I'll come out with my family and check out some other events, too.
"I think it's nice having these clusters (of venues). In Vancouver we weren't able to go and see any other events because it would take so long. This one, you can get tickets and we can just walk over to the hockey if we want or over to the long track, which we've done. It's not a big deal and it's really nice to cheer on our teammates that are outside short track."
Dudek said she felt good about the rest of the season.
"We still have worlds (championships) coming up in about a month," she said. "We have a relay at the worlds. I'm just not done. I feel so good right now."
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