By Gary R. Blockus | Nov. 17, 2017, 2:12 p.m. (ET)
Heather Bergsma poses for a portrait on April 25, 2017 in West Hollywood, Calif.

 

Two-time Olympian Heather Bergsma picked up her first medal of the new world cup season – and the first for Team USA women as well – by winning the bronze medal in the women’s 1,000-meter at the 2017 ISU World Cup Speedskating in Stavanger, Norway.

Bergsma, a 2010 and 2014 Olympian who owned the world record in the 1,000 for a week in 2015 before it was reset by Team USA teammate Brittany Bowe, took the bronze medal in Norway with a time of 1:15.04.

Japan took the gold and silver with Nao Kodaira finishing first in 1:14.33 and Miho Takagi finishing second in 1:14.79.

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Bergsma, a four-time world champion and current world champion in the 1,000- and 1,500-meters, skated the 1,000 in 1:13.91 at the Team USA world cup qualifiers last month, her best time since the 1:12.51 that set the world record on Nov. 14, 2015.  

The 28-year-old Bergsma saw that record fall eight days later when Bowe, who finished .35 seconds behind Bergsma in Norway for fifth place, retook it in a time of 1:12.18 at the world cup in Salt Lake City on Nov. 22, 2015. Bergsma had broken Bowe’s previous word record from 2013.

Racing action in Stavanger continues with the men’s and women’s 1,500-meter and conclusion of the 500-meter on Saturday, followed by the women’s 5,000-meter, men’s 10,000-meter and men’s and women’s team sprint on Sunday.

Team USA has world cups remaining in Calgary Dec. 1-3, Salt Lake City Dec. 8-10, Erfurt, Germany Jan. 19-21 and the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 in February before the World Cup Final in Minsk, Belarus, next March.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.