2 Ocala speed skaters compete in Olympics Monday

Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello, AP photos

PYEONGCHANG (WFLA) – Florida was well represented at Monday morning’s Olympic speed skating competition in Pyeongchang.

Two speed skaters from Ocala competed on the ice.

Speed skaters Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello competed for Team USA in the long track speed skate competition.

The Florida skaters failed to bring home a medal. Ireen Wuest of the Netherlands won the gold medal, Miho Takagi of Japan won the silver medal and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands won the bronze medal. Brittany Bowe finished fifth and Mia Manganello placed 22nd.

The Ocala duo competed alongside gold medal favorite, Heather Bergsma, who is from Massachusetts. Bergsma placed eighth.

Two other Ocala speed skaters are on Team USA. Erin Jackson is scheduled to compete on Feb. 18. Joey Mantia is scheduled to compete on Feb. 13.

Many of the Florida skaters started out as inline roller skaters.

Here are some interesting things to know about our Florida speed skaters, according to Team USA.org:

Brittany Bowe

  • Height: 5-7
  • DOB: 2/24/1988\
  • Hometown: Ocala, Fla.

Personal: Played college basketball at Florida Atlantic University. Started speed skating in 2010 because she saw her friends from Inline who switched to ice and were competing in the 2010 Games. Enjoys going anywhere with water and sunshine. Was named an Academic All-American in college. Has 32 Inline World Championship medals. Most memorable speed skating moment: 2015 World Championships. Favorite quote: “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect makes perfect.” Favorite music: Electronic

Erin Jackson

  • DOB: 9/19/1992
  • Birthplace: Ocala, Fla.
  • College: University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

Personal: Began skating in 2003. Works at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Team USA Contender Program. Graduated form Forest High School in Ocala. Participated in track and field in high school. Studied Materials Engineering at the University of Florida. Team USA Years: 2008 – 2010, 2012 – 2014. Competition highlights: 2014 Pan American Championships 500m Gold Medalist; 2014, Pan American Olympic Festival 500m Gold Medalist, 200m Silver Medalist. Skating goal, “I hope to win the ever-elusive senior gold medal.”

Mia Manganello

  • Height: 5-8
  • DOB: 10/27/1989
  • Hometown: Crestview, Fla.
Personal: Mia started inline skating when she was eight years-old and decided to make the switch to ice so that she could chase the Olympic dream at the age of 13. After the 2010 Olympic Trials, Mia choose to take a break from speed skating and found a new passion for cycling where she raced professionally for five years. She returned to speed skating in early 2016 after realizing her love for the sport still remained. After skating she would love to pursue a career in the Culinary Arts. Her parents, Karen and Dominic, have owned an Italian Restaurant her entire life. Mia says, “There is nothing better than growing up in a kitchen. The lessons and responsibilities you learn are irreplaceable, with the greatest reward being the amount of pizza you get to eat.” As a returning athlete, she wants to cherish every moment and live her life by the following words: “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”

Joey Mantia

  • Height: 5’10
  • DOB: 2/7/1986
  • Birthplace: Ocala, Fla.
Personal: In inline speedskating, won 28 World Championships titles, three Pan American Games titles, 15 World Cup gold medals, 12 Junior World titles, and more than 90 national titles. Hobbies include riding motorcycles

 

You can watch the speed skating competition at 8 p.m. tonight on WFLA News Channel 8. See Olympics TV schedule here.

Check out more Olympic stories from PyeongChang. WFLA News Channel 8 Sports Anchor Annie Sabo is covering the Olympics and will be bringing you live reports from PyeongChang. Follow Annie Sabo on Facebook and Twitter.

Mia Manganello, AP photo
Erin Jackson, AP photo
Brittany Bowe, AP Photo
Joey Mantia, AP photo

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