Sunday, February 16, 2014
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Polina Edmunds did her geometry homework on the flight from Austria to Sochi.
The 15-year-old figure skater is a sophomore at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif., and her teachers gave her three weeks' worth of assignments for the class time she'll miss because of the Olympics.
Before she left to train in Germany and Austria to get used to the time difference at the Sochi Games, the school held a sendoff rally complete with speeches from two gold medal-winning alums: soccer's Brandi Chastain and beach volleyball's Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Edmunds, the runner-up at last month's U.S. Championships, was the last American figure skater to arrive in Sochi because she didn't compete in the team event. Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold handled those responsibilities, then headed to Austria to join Edmunds for a few days. The women's short program is Wednesday.
While Edmunds was training in Germany, another 15-year-old, Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia, captivated the audience in the team competition and stamped herself as a medal contender. Lipnitskaia's flexibility has awed fans, but Edmunds noted Saturday that "everybody has a different natural talent."
"It can be high jumps. It can be flexibility," she said. "It can be really good edges. It can be good, sharp dance skills."
Between nationals and the Olympics, Edmunds worked with her ballet instructor on her expressiveness. Edmunds has the jumps to contend with the best but is still growing in other areas.
Her coach, David Glynn, says Edmunds isn't able to train as much as other teenage skaters because of her school schedule, but she's able to have a life away from the rink that would be harder if she was home-schooled.
Glynn has reason to be happy she got her math homework done. His mother is Edmunds' teacher.
— By Rachel Cohen — Twitter http://twitter.com/rachelcohenap
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu