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Florida Natives Bowe, Manganello Win Bronze in Speed Skating at 2018 Olympics

Feb 28, 2018 03:01PM ● Published by Kevin

The 2018 Winter Olympics concluded on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, with the U.S. bringing home nine gold medals, eight silver medals and six bronze medals, for a total of 23. The U.S. placed fourth overall in medal count. Of the six bronzes, Florida natives were responsible for one in the speed skating Ladies' Team Pursuit.

Ocala's Brittany Bowe and Crestview's Mia Manganello teamed up with Heather Bergsma (Highpoint, N.C.) and Carlijn Schoutens (Heemstede, Netherlands) to edge out Team Canada by 0.45 seconds. The team had lost to the Netherlands in the semifinal earlier in the day.

This is the first Olympic speed skating medal for the American women since 2002.

Manganello, a 5-foot-8, 28-year-old has dreamed of Olympic gold since she was just 13 years old. She started inline skating when she was eight years old and decided to make the switch to ice five years later.

After the 2010 Olympic Trials, she took a break from speed skating to race professionally in cycling until 2015. The Crestview native returned to the sport she loves in 2016. Her qualifying results for 2018 included a second-place finish in the Mass Start, as well as third-place finishes in the 1000m and 1500m.

This year, Manganello competed in six events: Ladies' 1,000m, 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m, Mass Start and Team Pursuit. She placed 15th in Mass Start and 22nd in the 1,500m.

Florida's only returning Olympians were Ocala's Brittany Bowe and Joey Mantia (also a speed skater). Bowe did not medal in 2014's Sochi Olympic Winter Games, but placed sixth in the Women's Team Pursuit, eighth in the 1000m, 13th in the 500m, and 14th in the 1500m. The 5-foot-7 former Florida Atlantic University basketball player will turn 30 on the second-to-last day of the 2018 Games. She started speed skating on the ice in 2010.

This year, Bowe competed in four events: Ladies' 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m and Team Pursuit. She placed fifth in the 500m and 1,500m, and fourth in the 1,000m.

Mia Manganello's mom reacts to speed skating bronze medal

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