Commentary: Time for U.S. speedskaters to step up in South Korea

Commentary: Time for U.S. speedskaters to step up in South Korea


Commentary Time for U.S. speedskaters to step up in South Korea
Commentary Time for U.S. speedskaters to step up in South Korea


Commentary Time for U.S. speedskaters to step up in South Korea:

gangneung, south korea – they could’t blame the suits. or their schooling strategies.

no extra excuses.

it’s time for the united states’s most embellished wintry weather olympics software to step up in south korea.

“i don’t assume there’s a greater inspired bunch of athletes here,” brittany bowe said. “we truely have the whole thing in the toolbox to be successful.”

speedskating has lengthy been a bellwether for the ice-and-snow crowd, producing some of the largest u.s. stars no matter a continual loss of funding and quite a good deal zero recognition past those two weeks every four years.

from eric heiden to bonnie blair, from dan jansen to apolo anton ohno, from shani davis to chad hedrick, the individuals ought to typically anticipate their speedskaters – whether it changed into short track or the big oval – to deliver domestic lots of hardware.

that every one modified in 2014.

the lengthy-music skaters were shut out completely.

the short trackers could handiest manage a relay silver on the final night time of competition.

it became a overall performance that numerous athletes have time and again defined as “a catastrophe.”

nicely, we might recognize very soon if any other crash-and-burn is looming.

on monday, music in for the girls’s 1,500 meters on the gangneung oval. heather bergsma is the reigning world champion. if bowe is in pinnacle shape, she would possibly have a shot to make the rostrum.

if they flop, it is able to be any other lengthy olympics for the u.s. speedskaters, who completed some distance back in the first  lengthy-song activities and had been blanked on the outlet night time of short track, as properly.

“for positive, it’s disappointing,” stated j.r. celski, who bombed out within the semifinals of the quick music 1,500. “i simply gave it my exceptional. that’s all i may want to’ve performed.”

over at the oval, the early returns are not encouraging.

inside the ladies’s 3,000, carlijn schoutens worked throughout the line in twenty second area – extra than 16 seconds in the back of the winner and in advance of simplest  other skaters. her time of 4 minutes, 15.60 seconds turned into extra than 10 seconds off her private high-quality.

on sunday, emery lehman completed subsequent-to-ultimate in the guys’s five,000, his time extra than 3 seconds off his prevailing overall performance at last month’s olympic trials in milwaukee.

“that’s without a doubt a little slower than i used to be hoping for,” lehman said. “the ice turned into precise, the training turned into accurate, it’s just on me to carry out nicely and skate a bit better than i skated.”

four years ago, nearly to the day, the u.s. speedskaters found out some thing became very, very incorrect in sochi. bergsma (then called heather richardson) and bowe had been the various favorites inside the 1,000. instead, they finished seventh and 8th respectively.

the rout changed into on.

“our complete group became covered up looking them race,” joey mantia recalled. “we all checked out each other while brittany finished and had been like, ‘what do you expect us to do?’”

looking back, we recognise precisely what went wrong.

just about the whole lot.

u.s. officials made the downright baffling choice to replace to a brand new fit proper earlier than the video games, satisfied it would provide them a massive technological part. instead, the skaters had been saddled with tight, sick-becoming equipment that might’ve in reality slowed them down.

on pinnacle of that, the individuals performed their pre-olympic camp nicely above sea level at a frigid out of doors rink in italy, even though the wintry weather video games have been being held at an indoor rink proper next to the black sea.

the education conditions have been downright uncomfortable – mainly for former inliners consisting of bergsma, who grew up in north carolina, and florida natives bowe and mantia – and the faster speeds which might be produced at higher altitude didn’t convey over to sochi.

“in case you take the street less traveled and it will pay off, you’re a genius,” mantia said.

“if it doesn’t,” he delivered, “you’re an idiot.”

no one finished better than seventh in my view. the first-class showing turned into 6th in women’s group pursuit (out of an 8-nation field).

with ohno retired, the short song team had only a chunk extra success. no person became better than fourth personally, leaving it to the guys’s relay group to salvage a chunk of pleasure with their runner-up finish inside the very last race of the sochi video games.

no person wants it to come right down to that once more.

the people insist they may be fully at ease with their fits, which they’ve been sporting for the past two seasons. their pre-olympic schooling turned into designed to mimic the situations they could face in south korea, right all the way down to the temperature in the arena.

now, it’s time to step up.































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