Five Additional Skaters Named To The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team

Jan. 06, 2018, 9:47 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Long Track continued today in front of a fourth sellout crowd at the Pettit National Ice Center. Joey Mantia (Ocala, Fla.) and Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Fla.) won their respective men’s and women’s 1500m events, while five additional athletes were named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

Mantia set the pace for the men, skating a 1:46.30 in the 1500m. The 2014 Olympian has now qualified for two distances for the 2018 Games, as he won the men’s 1000m on the second day of competition.

“It was a much slower race than I thought it would be,” said Mantia. “During the race, I knew it was so slow in here and from there, it was just a struggle to finish the race. Despite what it looked like, I was hurting inside.”

He will attempt to qualify for his third distance in the Mass Start tomorrow.

Bowe claimed the top spot for the women in the 1500m, turning in 1:55.92 to top Heather Bergsma (High Point, N.C.).

“It’s always nice to come out on top,” stated Bowe. “It’s a confidence booster for sure. When we’re racing each other, we raise that level of competition – it raises the intensity level, it gets that adrenaline going a little bit more.”

The 2015-16 World Champion is now qualified for three Olympic distances, as she also qualified in the women’s 500m and 1000m.

Bergsma finished in 1:56.12, and is also now qualified for three Olympic distances – the 500m, 1000m and 1500m. She will attempt to be the only U.S. women to qualify in four distances with the Mass Start tomorrow evening.

Mia Manganello (Crestview, Fla.) claimed her spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team with a third-place finish in the women’s 1500m (1:59.28).

“I was pretty much tearing up at the line knowing that if I just skated the best I could, I would probably make it and luckily that day came that I can finally be an Olympian,” said Manganello.

The first-time Olympian beat out Carlijn Schoutens (Heemstede, Netherlands) for the final 1500m spot, winning by 0.41 seconds.

“It is everything I thought it would feel like. Surreal. It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming of at least this year for sure, every day, and it’s a moment I can’t believe is actually true.”

Brian Hansen (Glenview, Ill.) secured his third trip to the Winter Games, with a second-place finish in 1:46.64. Skating in the penultimate pair with Emery Lehman (Oak Park, Ill.), Hansen knew he had sealed his fate with the fastest time before the final pair.

“I was nervous all day,” said Hansen. “I don’t think there’s too many situations that I’m going to go through where I feel more pressure than a day like today. I took two years off and after even two years of training it just it feels like everything.”

Shani Davis (Chicago, Ill.) capped off his Olympic Team Trials week with a third place finish in the 1500m in 1:47.15. The two-time Olympic Champion is heading to his fifth Olympic Games and will also be representing the U.S. in the 1000m.

“I’m honored (to be going to my fifth Games),” said Davis. “Twenty years of this is quite substantial when you look at all the time I’ve put into it. I still enjoy it. I’m still trying to be the best I can be and the best speed skater that I can and I’m going to continue to plug away at it.”

With Davis and Mantia doubling up on distances, Jonathan Garcia (Houston, Texas) and Kimani Griffin (Winston-Salem, N.C.) officially sealed their places on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. The two skaters finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s 500m on the fourth day of racing.

Jerica Tandiman (Kearns, Utah) was officially named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team in the women’s 1000m due to Bergsma and Bowe qualifying in multiple distances. Tandiman, who finished fourth in the event, was moved up to a qualifying position when Manganello did not meet the Olympic time standard.

For results, post-race interviews and other media information, visit the US Speedskating Media Page.

The entire U.S. Olympic Long Track Speedskating Team will be formally named at the conclusion of the week’s races and will consist of a maximum of eight men and eight women skaters, subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Racing will conclude on Sunday, January 7 with the men’s and women’s Mass Start. Live coverage of the races will be on NBCSN beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET.

The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be held in South Korea from February 9-25, 2018. Both Long and Short Track will be held in the Gangneung coastal cluster with all Olympic competitions for Long Track Speedskating to be held at the Gangneung Oval, which will have a seating capacity of 8,000.

Quotes from Joey Mantia

  • “It was a much slower race than I thought it would be. During the race, I knew it was so slow in here and from there, it was just a struggle to finish the race. Despite what it looked like, I was hurting inside.”
  • “I’ve felt great at practice, strong, but maybe high pressure is causing the ice to be slow. I wasn’t feeling one hundred percent, but wasn’t feeling bad to go 1:46 (seconds).”

Quotes from Brittany Bowe

  • “It’s always nice to come out on top. It’s a confidence booster for sure. When we’re racing each other, we raise that level of competition – it raises the intensity level, it gets that adrenaline going a little bit more.”
  • “I would say we both want to win those races and it feels good to come out on top today. I know that next time we’re on the ice together she’s going to have some more fire in her.”

Quotes from Mia Manganello

  • “I was pretty much tearing up at the line knowing that if I just skated the best I could, I would probably make it and luckily that day came that I can finally be an Olympian.”
  • “Extremely difficult. After the 1,000 it was pretty hard to come out of that one. But luckily I had a couple days of a buffer before the 1,500 today and it just goes back to knowing that if I let it go, skate in the moment, that it was possible.”
  • “The most I’ve been all week (nervous). I tried to talk myself down. I knew if I skated to my potential that I would make it and skate a good race. But, there is always the what-ifs you’re feeling, thinking all of those. Luckily I was able to just step away from the mind and the moment and just skate how I needed to skate.”
  • “It is everything I thought it would feel like. Surreal. It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming of at least this year for sure, every day, and it’s a moment I can’t believe is actually true.”

Quotes from Brian Hansen

  • “I was nervous all day. I don’t think there’s too many situations that I’m going to go through where I feel more pressure than a day like today. I took two years off and after even two years of training it just it feels like everything.”
  • “I was so happy that I could go out there and have a good one today and make a third team – a third Olympic team.”

Quotes from Shani Davis

  • “I’m honored (to be going to his fifth Games). 20 years of this is quite substantial when you look at all the time I’ve put into it. I still enjoy it. I’m still trying to be the best I can be and the best speed skater that I can and I’m going to continue to plug away at it.”
  • “I think I have the tools to be a real threat. For sure in the 1000m and maybe the 1500m. Anything can happen at the Olympics. It’s up to me to make sure I’m prepared properly.”
  •  “It’s been really nice to have it at the Pettit. I’m from Chicago and a lot of people come up from Chicago to watch and they are very supportive. The people of Wisconsin adopted me as well, kind of like how they did with Bonnie Blair, and they really support and embrace me.”
  • “It was a decent race. The 700m (split), I was really pleased with because I’ve been struggling a lot earlier in the season with my opening speed plus my 700m split. Today, on worker’s ice, where nothing is free at all, I opened up with 23.7 and 26.0. I think that’s really substantial for me.”

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