VANCOUVER, British Columbia–I’m back at the Richmond Olympic Oval for the final day of long track speed skating competition. The women and men of Team USA will be battling for gold in the Team Pursuit.
First up will be the women’s semifinals where the U.S. will go head to head with Germany for a spot in the gold medal final later today. The women’s team, comprised of Catherine Raney-Norman, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jilleanne Rookard and Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr., already upset the Canadian favorites with a win in the quarterfinals by .05 seconds.
“I had no idea where we were in the race,” Jilleanne Rookard said. “I heard a lot of cheering for the Canadians so I thought they were ahead by a long shot.”
The Team Pursuit is unique in Olympic racing in that it’s not a relay, but a team skate much like a team ride in cycling. Three skaters work together, drafting off of each other, to get all three members across the finish line first.
“As little as we skate together we have to focus on being in sync with one another,” said Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr. “This was the one race where we actually pulled it together quite well.”
After the ladies, the American men will face off with Canada in the gold medal final. The U.S. team, comprised of Chad Hedrick, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck and Trevor Marsicano, are guaranteed a medal. The only question is: what color will it be? Read the rest of this entry →