Short track speedskater Aly Dudek, 24, and bobsledder Steve Langton, 31, are naturally competitive. And when it comes to their one-year relationship, they can agree on a lot of things — unless it comes to which one is the better driver.
We talked to the Team USA athletes — who are set to appear together on “Amazing Race” (premiering Feb. 25) — and got them to answer the same questions about their relationship, without knowing the other’s answers. Find out what they said about how Aly picked Steve up, and the embarrassing moment when Aly knew she had found the love of her life.
|...to Sochi, Russia...|
How did you meet?
Steve Langton: The first time we met we were at a BMW-sponsored event in Munich the day before we were to fly out to Sochi. She was — oh god, she’ll kill me if I get this wrong — behind me as we were waiting in line to get a parting gift. She made this really corny joke and I turned around and there she was.
Aly Dudek: I think I said something stupid like, ‘This is where we pick up the keys to the BMW X6, right?’
Langton: I had no idea who she was at the time. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, that girl had beautiful eyes.’
Dudek: Since my teammate Emily Scott was friends with his teammate Curt Tomasevicz I told him, ‘You know your teammate Steve? If you want, you can give him my number. But wait, no don’t actually do that because that’s really embarrassing. But if you want you can totally do it. No, don’t do it.’ I kept going back and forth and finally Curt was like, ‘Aly, I’m giving him your number.’ And that’s how we started talking and texting.
Langton: She totally picked me up.
Dudek: Our paths had crossed many times as Team USA athletes, even though we’re on different sports. And we had plenty of opportunities to meet but never did until Sochi. We figure it was meant to be.
What would you say is the other’s greatest strength?
Langton: Her determination. Obviously a lot of athletes have determination, but if she sets her heart — or her sights — on something, you should watch out because there’s nothing that’s going to be able to stop her.
Dudek: Calming me down when I get worked up. That’s a hard thing to do and he does it really well.
Finish this sentence: It must be true that opposites attract because we are total opposites when it comes to…
Langton: Decision making. I have a very strong gut and make my decisions very quickly. But with her — whether we’re buying a car or deciding where to eat — she takes a long time to weigh her options. And although she always comes to a very good decision, it usually takes her longer than me.
Dudek: Our temperament. I’m the crazy one and he’s always calm. You’ll see plenty of examples when you watch ‘Amazing Race.’ Whenever he’s driving I kind of panic — because I think I’m a better driver and he thinks he’s a better driver — and he’s like, ‘girl, chill out, it’s fine.’
Our relationship would be perfect if we could just agree on…
Langton: Where to eat. We both love food and we’ve been in places where there’s lots of good options. So anytime we decide to go out, four, five, six, seven options could be flying around until we come to one. But somehow we always end up with food in our stomachs.
Dudek: That this one pair of shorts he has is terrible. They drive me crazy. They’re plaid and very east-coast looking, really preppy and all different colors. But he loves them and he wants to order more just to make me mad. You won’t see them on ‘Amazing Race’ because fortunately they weren’t the color our team was assigned. Oh, darn.
What is one thing the other is great at and one thing they’re terrible at?
Langton: She is the best friend, but the worst singer. She loves to sing. We always kid about going on ‘American Idol’. She knows she doesn’t have the best voice in the world but she doesn’t really care.
Dudek: He is the best athlete but the worst dancer. I think he’s an amazing all-around athlete. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s accomplished, but he has zero rhythm. He thinks he’s 100 pounds and really he’s 230 pounds. He thinks he has ballerina feet and he does not. He’s definitely more of a Hulk. My sister just got married in September and at the wedding he had no shame. He doesn’t care.
How do you think you would do at the other’s sport?
Langton: I would be great at speedskating because I’m very good at turning left. But I would make a terrible speedskater because I have absolutely no endurance.
Dudek: I would be great at bobsled because I’m very quick, but I would also be terrible because I get motion sick very easily and I’m way too small for bobsled.
What is something most people don’t know about your partner?
Langton: She’s exceptionally good at puzzles, and she’s a spin class fanatic.
Dudek: As much as Steve’s bobsled and muscles and tough and all that, he is as much of a sweetheart as you can get. He’s a big softie.
|...to apple picking in Wisconsin.|
What is something people don’t know about you?
Langton: Something most people don’t know about me is that since the time I was little I’ve really enjoyed drawing — sketching mostly people and animals — and I’m actually pretty good at it. For Aly’s birthday, I drew her golden retriever for her.”
Dudek: I’m a pretty open book, but most people don’t know that I grew up in Wisconsin so I’m very outdoorsy. I know how to drive a snowmobile and change a belt on a snowmobile. I ice fish and do all those outdoorsy things, thanks to my dad. He had three daughters so we had to learn how to do all those manly things.
Finish this sentence: My favorite day in our relationship thus far was…
Langton: There’s a lot of favorite days, but I guess New Year’s at her family’s house in northern Wisconsin. We rode snowmobiles and lit off fireworks. It was just really nice.
Dudek: We’ve had so many. Probably the Fourth of July when I went to Massachusetts with him and his family. We went up to their lake house in New Hampshire. Normally Fourth of July is supposed to be sunny and really hot. But it was raining so we were stuck indoors. I just sat there and talked with his family. It was really calm. Not what I would have expected for your typical Fourth of July but I wouldn’t have changed it at all. It was perfect. That’s when I started to know I liked him and his entire family.
When did you know you had found the love of your life?
Langton: After about two minutes of talking to her. The night after Opening Ceremony we just hung out and talked for about two or three hours, and after probably two minutes into that conversation I knew I was in trouble.
Dudek: The first thing that came to mind was that I openly fart in front of him. I don’t know why that’s the first thing I thought of. But on a more serious note, I would say when I saw him talking to my family and being so comfortable and so open.