Home / Trending / Utah speedskater Jerica Tandiman revels in Olympic debut, but U.S. women still in medal drought

Utah speedskater Jerica Tandiman revels in Olympic debut, but U.S. women still in medal drought

John Locher, AP

Jerica Tandiman of the U.S. waves to spectators after the women’s 1,000 meters speedskating race on the Gangneung Oval on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/John Locher)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Jerica Tandiman was once still grinning when she reached the basement labyrinth of media contributors ready to invite her about her Olympic debut.

“It was amazing,” the Kearns local stated of her 28th-place end in Wednesday evening’s 1,000-meter lengthy observe race. “Just going to the line, I had a smile on my face. I couldn’t stop smiling. I was really excited to be there, and I felt honored to be able to experience this, and to have worked hard to get to that point, to race on the biggest stage. It was awesome.”

While the 23-year-old Utahn reveled in the thrill and novelty of her first Olympic pageant, her teammates left the Gangneung Oval dissatisfied because the U.S. medal drought in speedskating continues.

Brittany Bowe, at the beginning from Florida but residing and coaching in Salt Lake City, earned her perfect Olympic end, but it was once a bittersweet accomplishment as she was once heartbreakingly with regards to the rostrum.

“I’m really proud of myself for where I’ve come from,” stated Bowe after completing in fourth position, lacking a medal by means of .38 of a 2nd. “I’m obviously very disappointed right in this moment, falling short of the podium. That was my best finish yet at the Olympics, but that doesn’t matter if it’s not top three.”

Bowe skated in a couple with Netherlands’ Jorien Ter Mors, who now not handiest gained gold, but who additionally set a brand new Olympic file, crossing the road in 1:13.56. Japan’s Nao Kodaira (1:13.82) and Miho Takagi (1:13.98), earned silver and bronze, respectively.

Bowe had a super get started but light on the finish, and stated she had was hoping her time, which put her in 2nd position after 12 pairs, could be sufficient for a medal.

“I was hopeful, but doubtful at the same time,” she stated of her 1:14.36 time. “I thought it would probably fall short, but like I said a couple of days ago, I left it all out there on the ice, and that’s all I could do.”

U.S. workforce dash trainer Matt Kooreman praised Bowe’s effort.

“I’ve never been more proud of a performance,” he stated. “I think it’s one of the best performances she’s ever done. She just didn’t have the legs tonight.”

Fellow U.S. skater Heather Bergsma completed 8th with a time of one:15.15.

“My start was good,” Bergsma stated. “I was happy with it. Just the last lap wasn’t there.”

This is the 3rd Olympics for Bergsma and 2nd for Bowe, but it was once Tandiman’s first, and he or she was once unusually much less frightened at the beginning of Wednesday’s race than she was once for Olympic Trials remaining month.

“I didn’t have as much pressure on myself,” she stated. “Which is always a good thing. … So I was able to put together a decent race.”

She stated her father, Edwin Tandiman, most often sends her pep talks by way of textual content, and her Olympic debut was once no exception.

“My dad is really the one who gives advice,” Tandiman stated. “He’ll send me novels (in) text messages. I like to read through them before I race. He keeps me levelheaded and just like go out there and have fun. So I enjoy reading his messages before I race.”

She stated she texted her circle of relatives, who flew in two days in the past, sooner than taking the ice so she may in finding them in the group.

“(I) asked where they were sitting so I could watch for them and wave at them,” she stated. “I spotted them as soon as I got up there. That was really nice to have my parents there.”

Her folks had been overjoyed to be in the stands observing the fruits in their daughter’s 16 years of exhausting paintings.

“My wife and I were so proud of her,” Edwin stated in a textual content after the race. “She did well for it being her first Olympics. We are grateful that we were able to share this great experience with her.”

Tandiman stated she plans to peer as many occasions as she will be able to sooner than the top of the Games now that her pageant is whole.

“I want to see figure skating,” she stated, her grin widening. “I want to see Nathan Chen, another Salt Lake boy. So I’d love to see that. I want to watch the short track events because we train with them, and I have friends there. I’d like to see them do well.”

As for what it’s love to are living the dream she’s had since she was once in basic college, she stated it exceeded her expectancies.

“It’s better than I expected,” she stated. “Every day is a new day and something new to experience, and it’s really awesome.”

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