Brittany Bowe wins bronze in the 1,000 meters, her first individual medal
Brittany Bowe celebrates during the Women’s 1000 Meters Flower Ceremony at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 17, 2022 in Beijing.
Days after her selfless act helped produce a gold medal for her American teammate, Erin Jackson, Brittany Bowe finally picked up a piece of individual Olympic gear for herself on Thursday.
A week before her 34th birthday, the three-time Olympian from Ocala, Fla., won bronze in the women’s 1,000 meters long track speed skating event at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing. Bowe became the first American woman to medal in the event since Chris Witty won gold in 2002 and tied Atje Keulen-Deelstra of the Netherlands as the oldest woman to reach the podium in the ‘test. Keulen-Deelstra did it 50 years ago in 1972.
Bowe, the reigning world champion who also holds the world record of 1 minute, 11.61 seconds in the event, crossed the finish line in 1:14.61 to place third. Miho Takagi of Japan won the gold medal in a new Olympic record of 1:13.19. Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands won the silver medal in 1:13.83.
Kimi Goetz, of Flemington, New Jersey, placed seventh in the 1,000 with a time of 1:15.40.
Skating in the last of 15 pairs with Daria Kachanova of the Russian Olympic Committee, Bowe equaled the fastest time of the day – 17.60 seconds – at the 200-metre mark, but could not match the impressive speed of Takagi at the end. The medal was Takagi’s fourth at the Beijing Games.
“I got off to a great start, really strong and fast, but my lap speed just wasn’t there,” Bowe said. “Miho Takagi is skating out of his mind, and I was aiming for this time, but it didn’t happen. I was aiming for gold, but I’ll probably take bronze. I’m proud of the performance.
Third #Winter Olympicsfirst individual Olympic medal.
– Team USA (@TeamUSA) February 17, 2022
It was the second Olympic bronze medal for Bowe, who also won one in the team pursuit in PyeongChang four years ago, but his first individual medal at the Games. A four-time world champion, Bowe won three world titles in the 1,000 meters.
“I was going for gold today, but if I step back and breathe deeply for a moment, I’m honored and blessed to win a medal,” Bowe said.
It appears karma rewarded Bowe after notably giving up her spot in the 500 meters to teammate and compatriot Ocalan Erin Jackson, who slipped at the Olympic trials and failed to qualify. Bowe finally secured a spot to compete in the event after another country was unable to fill their quota. She finished 16th. Jackson, meanwhile, won the gold medal, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating.
“You are a mentor. A friend. A teammate. A sister,” Jackson said in an Instagram post before the race. “Thanks for being a big part of my journey to gold, @brittanybowe.”
Bowe, a former college basketball player, said she appreciates all the support she has received during her speed skating career.
“I have a ton of emotions – honored, blessed, happy,” Bowe said. “Words cannot describe it. Thank you to the countless number of people who encourage me. It means so much. It’s been quite a trip.
“Everyone pushed me to the line to bring home the bronze.”
Want to follow the athletes of the American team during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.