Led by a strong performance from Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Fla.), Team USA secured a top-five finish in the women’s 1500m at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 at the Gangneung Oval on Monday evening.
Bowe finished with a time of 1:55.54, 0.28 seconds off the bronze-medal time, for the best Olympic finish of her career. Skating in the seventh pair alongside Poland’s Natalia Czerwonka, Bowe posted the time to beat, which stood until the 11th pairing.
“I feel great,” Bowe said. “I feel super proud about that performance. I was able to execute what I wanted to execute. I was able to fight all the way to the end and leave everything out there on the ice.”
Bowe skated 28.42 seconds in her first full 400m lap, followed by a 30-second and 32-second lap to end the race.
“Just to be able to give my best effort, to give my best skate that I’ve had in a couple years and then to look up and see my family in the stands and know everybody back home in Florida is probably up watching, it’s just a great experience,” Bowe said. “I’m super grateful to be here.”
Bowe placed 14th in the 1500m in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. She won the 500m and 1500m at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Long Track last month in Milwaukee.
Heather Bergsma (High Point, N.C.) finished Monday’s 1500m in eighth place with a time of 1:56.74.
Skating in the 14th and final pairing alongside Japan’s Miho Takagi, Bergsma got off to a blistering start, but couldn’t keep the pace up by the final lap. Takagi, who bested Bergsma by more than two seconds, won silver.
Bergsma, the current 1500m world-record holder, opened the first 300m of the race in 25.01 seconds.
“It was just a hard, last lap,” Bergsma said.
Bergsma finished seventh in 1500m at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games and 16th in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. As Team USA’s busiest long track skater, she will also skate in the 500m, 1000m, mass start and Team Pursuit events in PyeongChang.
“The beginning of the race was okay, so I can take that away going into the 1000m [on Wednesday],” Bergsma said.
First-time Olympian Mia Manganello (
Manganello has been battling a cold and had not skated the past three days.
“Leading into this weekend, I felt awesome,” Manganello said. “I’ve been skating really well technically, but I did what I could.”
She will also compete in the Team Pursuit and Mass Start events in PyeongChang.
“Obviously today didn’t go as planned,” she said. “I hoped for a lot better and know I can do a lot better. But we’ve still got a long Olympics left.”
For results, post-race interviews and other media information, visit the US Speedskating Media Page.
Long track continues on Tuesday, February 13 with the men’s 1500m. Live coverage of the race will be streamed on nbcolympics.com beginning at 8 p.m. KT (6 a.m. ET).
Quotes from Brittany Bowe
Quotes from Heather Bergsma
Quotes from Mia Manganello