The 49th state once again proved to be a viable training ground for potential Olympians in 2010 as seven Alaskans qualified for the Vancouver games, and they achieved those dreams in different ways.
Nordic skier Holly Brooks did not even emerge as a candidate until the 2009 season. The Alaska Pacific University coach turned in a solid performance at U.S. Nationals in January, boosting her chances with a silver and a bronze medal. Brooks was a late addition to the U.S. Olympic team, and skied admirably in Vancouver. Brooks placed 42nd in the 15K race, and 36th in the 30K.
James Southam of Anchorage wasn't a shoo-in for his second Olympic cross country ski team, either. Southam impressed at U.S. Nationals as well, earning a spot based on his win in the 30K race. In Vancouver, he raced three times, twice posting the best result by an American.
Snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof of Girdwood was only 20 years old at the time of her selection to the Olympic team. Chythlook-Sifsof had only one day of competition during the games, and fell during qualifying of women's snowboardcross. She is expected to make it back one day.
Biathletes Jeremy Teela ( Anchorage ) and Jay Hakkinen ( Kasilof ) also represented the United States in the Olympics, helping the U.S. finish 13th in a relay race.
Channel 2's top 10 series will include more from Alaska's Olympians later on in the countdown.