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Brittany Bowe wins her first individual Olympic medal

The all-time great took home bronze in the women’s 1,000-meter race

Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 13
Brittany Bowe’s bronze caps off a special Olympic Games for the star speedskater.
Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Brittany Bowe can now add an individual Olympic medal to her incredible resume.

The all-time great speedskater took home bronze in the women’s 1,000-meter Thursday, delivering Team USA its third medal in speedskating at these Games. The world-record holder in the event, Bowe entered Beijing as a medal favorite.

Her opening 200 meters was the fastest in the field, and her final lap was third fastest. Bowe stumbled in the middle 400 meters, which allowed Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands to finish second. Miho Takagi of Japan won gold.

Bowe, 33, finished the race in 1:14.61, only 0.1 ahead Russian skater Angelina Golikova.

“I wanted to win that gold medal, but I’m just taking a moment and a deep breath,” Bowe said afterwards, via the New York Times. “I’m completely honored to bring home this bronze medal to the United States tonight.”

Bowe has been a dominant middle-distance skater for the better part of the last decade. Since the 2014 Sochi Games, she’s finished atop the 1,000-meter World Cup standings four times and atop the 1,500-meter standings on three occasions.

However, Bowe hadn’t replicated that success on the Olympic stage until Thursday. Her best individual finish in Pyeongchang was fourth, and it was eighth in 2014.

Bowe only previous Olympic medal was a bronze in team pursuit at the 2018 Games.

Thursday’s finish is the latest Olympic highlight for Bowe this year. She had the special honor of being the only out LGBTQ flag bearer at last week’s Opening Ceremonies.

While Bowe doesn’t speak often about her sexuality orientation, she isn’t shy on Instagram.

Bowe’s medal was the third for an improved U.S. team. Erin Jackson won gold in the 500 meters, and Joey Mantia won bronze for the men.

Team LGBTQ currently has eight medals. There are at least 36 out athletes competing.