Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Event: Women's 1,500 meters
Drought: No gold medal since 1972
Although the United States has had success in speedskating, most of it has been at shorter distances. Furthermore, American women have had little Olympic success recently.
An American woman has not won an Olympic medal in any speedskating event in 12 years and has not captured a gold medal at any distance longer than 1,000 meters since Dianne Holum won the 1,500 meters in Sapporo, Japan, in 1972.
Brittany Bowe could end that American slump in the 1,500 meters this year. Bowe is a medal contender in two events (the 1,000 and the 1,500), and Bowe’s best event is probably the 1,000.
But American women have captured the gold medal in the 1,000 meters in three of the past six Olympics. Another American, Heather Richardson, probably has a better chance than Bowe at winning the 1,000.
However, Bowe is the top American hope in the 1,500 meters, with Richardson also having a shot in that event.
One of the two should at least become the first American woman since 2002 to capture an Olympic speed-skating medal. Additionally, either could become the first American female in 42 years to capture a gold medal in an Olympic speedskating event longer than 1,000 meters.