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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Ocala speed skaters heading to Beijing for 2022 Winter Olympics

Three Ocala speed skaters will be representing the United States during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing next month.

The U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials were held this past week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with roster spots on the line.

Ocala resident Brittany Bowe won the 1,500-meter race with a time of 1:55.81, and the victory qualified her for the Olympics. She also won the 1,000-meter and 500-meter races.

Ocala speed skaters shine during U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials
Brittany Bowe

Fellow Ocalan Joey Mantia set a new track record in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 1:44.01. The record-setting performance earned him a first-place finish and his third trip to the Olympics.

Ocala speed skaters shine during U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials 2
Joey Mantia

Ocala resident Erin Jackson also qualified for the Olympics thanks to the generosity of her friend and teammate, Bowe.

Ocala speed skaters shine during U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials 1
Erin Jackson

During the 500-meter qualifying race, Jackson slipped and finished in third place with a time of 38.25 seconds. As a result, she was slated to miss the upcoming Olympics.

Bowe felt that Jackson had done enough to earn her spot on the 500-meter team, and Bowe made the decision to relinquish her spot to Jackson.

Bowe will still compete in the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter races in Beijing.

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games begin on Friday, February 4 and run through Sunday, February 20.

For more information, or to view the speed skating schedule, visit the 2022 Olympic Winter Games website.