Brittany Bowe: 5 Things to Know About The Olympic Speed Skater Who Led The USA Team In The Opening Ceremony
Brittany Bowe led the American contingent into Beijing’s National Stadium for the Parade of Nations. This is everything you need to know about this incredible athlete.
Brittany Bowe said on Friday (Feb. 4) that joining five-time Olympic curler John Shuster in leading Team USA in the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony is an «absolute honor of a lifetime.» As Team USA marched in the Parade of Nations, Brittany, 33, and John, 39, carried the American flag.
«I can’t think of a more meaningful and uniting moment as an athlete and as an American,» Brittany told NBC News of the opportunity to lead the Americans. And leading Team USA into the Opening Ceremony is a true honor.» (Image courtesy of PEOPLE).
Brittany was chosen to take the place of Elana Meyers Taylor, a bobsledder who has won medals in the past three winter games. Elana, 37, unfortunately, tested positive for COVID-19 before the games.
As a result, Brittany stepped up and did an excellent job. In Ocala, Florida, her family was seen applauding her throughout the event. As part of China’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, no foreign spectators are permitted in the nation.
What you need to know about Brittany is as follows:
1. Brittany Bowe is a speed skater, for starters.
Brittany Starr Bow, an Ocala, Florida native, began her Olympic journey at the age of eight, when she tried inline skating for the first time, according to the Chicago Tribune. Bowe initially got on ice skates in July 2010, and she has picked up an astonishing record of awards since then.
She collected seven gold, eight silver, and five bronze medals at the 2022 World Championships. She competed in the 2018 Pyeongchang and 2014 Sochi Olympics and will compete in the 2020 Beijing Olympics for the third time.
Bowe has already won an Olympic medal in Team Pursuit, capturing bronze in 2018. In 2022, she plans to add to that.
2. Brittany Bowe Is A Baller
Brittany’s first love was basketball. She started dribbling when she was two years old. She tried soccer briefly before abandoning it due to scheduling conflicts with basketball. She was a two-sport athlete as a teenager, competing in basketball and inline skating. She took a pause after the 2008 inline world championships to focus on her basketball career. For Florida Atlantic University, she was a point guard.
In 2012, Ryan Shimabukuro, the then-head coach of the United States long-track sprint team, told the Chicago Tribune, «Basketball and speedskating are at opposite extremities of the athletic technique spectrum.» «What Brittany brought from basketball was general athleticism and a strong understanding of how to operate well in a group setting.»
She opted to pursue skating full-time after graduation. In 2010, she relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, and began training as a speed skater.
3. Brittany Bowe Works Well With Others
Brittany won the 500m at the Olympic Trials before the 2022 Olympics. She did, however, choose to give up her place in the 500m to Erin Jackson. According to NBC Sports, Jackson, the world’s top-ranked 500m skater, slid during her race at the trials and finished third.
Erin was one of the favorites to win gold in the 500 meters after being the first Black woman to win a World Cup race. «There was never a doubt in my mind that if it came down to it, I would do whatever it took — if it came down to it — to get Erin to skate at the Olympics,» Brittany told Elite Daily.
The United States was only given two guaranteed spots in the event at the time. Brittany, who excels in the 1000m and 1500m, relinquished her spot so Erin could compete. Brittany’s good deed, however, was repaid by karma.
Free berths are awarded to skaters named to the team in other events after some nations return their Olympic quota spots. Brittany qualified for the 500m because she qualified for the 1000m/1500m. She and Erin will now compete for the gold in that event.
4. Brittany Bowe identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Brittany became the first LGBTQ athlete to gain a position on the USA Olympic squad when she qualified for the 1000m event in Beijing in 20202. Her personal life is not discussed in interviews, despite the fact that she is openly lesbian. According to OutSports, she instead concentrates on her competition and athletic prowess.
5. Brittany Bowe Was On The Verge Of Giving Up Skating
Brittany suffered a concussion during a training collision in 2016. After a few weeks, she was cleared to return to the ice, but she still had problems. «After my injury, a variety of obstacles surfaced,» she said in a 2017 essay.
She had nausea, vertigo, and difficulty with her equilibrium. She also had postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is a less common consequence (POTS). As a result, she was obliged to cut her season short and rest.
She wrote, «I needed to do myself a favor and heal.» «I went home to Florida to get away from the concept of ‘pushing through,’ and to give my body the time it needed to heal…but in my case, going home to Florida to relax simply exacerbated my dysfunction.»
I’d go outside for a stroll to get some fresh air, and after about 10 minutes on my feet, my heart rate would be in the 140s, and I’d be on the verge of passing out. I wasn’t sure whether returning to athletics was really an option for me because I was scared, frustrated, and thoroughly demoralized.» She recovered and returned to the ice after working with specialists.