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Speedskater Brittany Bowe takes Olympic medal after a comeback story

Written by gaytourism

It’s been a good Olympics for out athletes. | Photo: YouTube/Team USA

Out athlete Brittany Bowe helped Team USA win a bronze medal in speedskating on Wednesday (21 February).

Alongside teammates Mia Manganello and Heather Bergsma, they narrowly beat Canada in the team pursuit to snag third place.  Japan won gold while the Netherlands, a speedskating favorite, earned silver.

This is the first Olympic medal for American women in speedskating since 2002.

It’s also Bowe’s first medal ever after missing out on one in Sochi four years ago.

A comeback story

18 months before the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Bowe collided with another skater during practice.

She suffered negative effects from her concussion and remained unsure about her Olympics future.

‘A year ago … I wasn’t able to work out for 10 minutes without having a near fainting episode,’ she told the Salt Lake Tribune. ‘I was watching world singles on my couch in a really dark place.’

Then she did make it to PyeongChang, but medals remained out of her grasp.

In three races prior to the team pursuit, she finished in the top five — but couldn’t make it to the podium. At least, until today.

Team USA wins bronze.

Team USA wins bronze. | Photo: Instagram @brittanybowe

‘I am beyond grateful for the opportunity- it has been an absolute team effort,’ Bowe wrote on Instagram.

A triumph for LGBTI athletes

Bowe joins other LGBTI athletes in becoming medal-winning Olympians this year.

Another speedskater, Ireen Wüst, was the first out LGBTI athlete to win a medal in PyeongChang.

At the start of the games, Canadian and US figure skaters Eric Radford and Adam Rippon won medals in the team event.

Radford won a second medal, the bronze, in the main pairs figure skating event.

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