TODAY | February 04, 2014
>> compete in 98 medal events in sochi . two of those athletes are members of the u.s. speed skating team. eddie alvarez and jessica smith . good to see you.
>> good to see you.
>> roommates, by the way. you guys live together in salt lake city ?
>> how long has that been going on?
>> two years now.
>> so you know each other's deepest, darkest secrets. eddie , i'll start with you. kidding. most people don't think of speed skating . how did it start for you?
>> as a kid, my parents used to take me to south beach to cruise around the streets.
>> in line skating.
>> exactly. these two ladies stopped me and said i should try inline speed skating . so i made a transition to the ice.
>> there was a time you gave up skating completely to play baseball. what got you back to skating?
>> the olympic dream . in high school , i dropped it completely my sophomore year. and after graduation, i dropped my scholarship for baseball to try to make the 2010 games. i fell a little short, so i game back to baseball, came back here.
>> and it worked out pretty well.
>> pretty well.
>> jessica, speaking of just missing, just missed in vancouver making the team. what's the difference? what gets you here to sochi ?
>> a lot more experience and technical help and a lot more training and just getting my bearings under me, i think.
>> we've had a chance to chat here a little bit before we came out of the break, i know you've got the personality to handle this. you're not the tallest member of team usa . does size matter at all in your events?
>> hey, good things come in small packages, right?
>> does it matter at all?
>> no, i think it just depends on how you put what pressure into the ice. i don't think it affects me very much. i think it's good to be short. you're down at the ice, get good lean and get into small places.
>> she gets all the draft.
>> get all the draft and small opportunities.
>> your nickname is --
>> oh, gosh.
>> don't you have?
>> i have a couple.
>> somebody told me it was rugrat.
>> yeah. trying to avoid that one.
>> what are the other ones you know about?
>> no, that one's fine. i was named that when i was a little kid.
>> what about you? do you have a nickname?
>> yeah, i guess i do. people know me as eddie the jet.
>> eddie the jet.
>> for a speed skater, it doesn't get better than that.
>> i guess it does. i got it from the movie "the sandlot."
>> it worked. when you're not competing, what do you want to see here in sochi ?
>> looking forward to the hockey. i know he's canadian coach, but he's a red wing coach, so i'm excited to see him.
>> you're going to see team usa ?
>> i'm looking forward to going to the bobsled, the girls, i play taboo with them.
>> we all did.
>> we all did.
>> made friends with them and i want to see them push that really heavy thing. i don't know how you do that.
>> we're happy to have you both here in sochi . good luck, have fun. safe games.
>> appreciate it.