Fresh off winning an Olympic bronze medal that ended a 16-year drought for U.S. women long track speedskaters, Brittany Bowe added a silver medal at the ISU World Sprint Championships on Sunday in Changchun, China.
Bowe, 30, climbed to the world sprint championship podium for the first time since 2016, when she won it for the second straight year.
This time, the Ocala, Florida, native reached the podium following a remarkable comeback that saw her miss almost all of last season due to post-concussion symptoms.
After a strong comeback season that saw her qualify for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, Bowe had four top-five finishes in PyeongChang and helped win a bronze medal in team pursuit, along with Heather Bergsma, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens. The medal ended an eight-year Olympic medals drought for U.S. long track speedskaters and was the first for U.S. women since 2002.
Bowe’s performance in PyeongChang earned her a nomination for Female Olympic Athlete of the Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, at the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of Games. Fan voting is ongoing at TeamUSA.org/Awards through Friday, March 16.
At the world sprint championships, athletes skate two 500-meter races and two 1,000-meter races. The cumulative ranking of all four races determines the overall champion.
Bowe ranked second in the 1,000-meter and sixth in 500-meter both Saturday and Sunday, and sat in third place after Saturday’s races before her consistency paid off with the silver medal. Three-time Olympic champion Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands took first.
The races are contested twice because higher speeds favor the skaters in the outermost lanes. Athletes race each distance from both the inner and outer lanes, and those times are converted to points with the winner recording the least amount of points.
Bowe won in world sprint championships in 2015 and 2016. This is the sixth straight year the U.S. has medaled at the event, with Bergsma and Bowe either medaling together or separately each time.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games.