Woman from Ocala Makes the US Olympic Team
Published January 2nd, 2014
North Central Florida has sent many people to the Olympic games and two more are on their way.
But these two residents of the Sunshine State are going to the Winter Olympics.
Twenty-five-year-old Brittany Bowe qualified for the USA Olympic women's speed skating team this week for three races and will represent her country in Sochi, Russia.
Ocala is Bowe's home town and analysts predict it will become the hometown for an Olympic medalist this February.
Not only did her family share her story today but they shared their thoughts on the recent bombings Russia has suffered so close to the athletes' arrival.
"Ice was the next step," said Debbie Bowe, mother of Brittany Bowe.
Brittany Bowe started inline skating at Skate Mania in Ocala and grew up to become a World Champion on wheels.
But there was a future on the ice and the Trinity Catholic grad set out to chase it.
It only took her three years to adjust.
"From not being able to do it at all to the point of having a world record now in the 1000 meter and a national record in the 1500 meter," said Bowe.
Debbie Bowe has watched her daughter grow from an inline skater to a college basketball star at FAU and now into a Olympian for speed skating.
But every race still makes her nervous.
"I'm never at a race, regardless of where I am in the world, without my clinging crucifix."
The recent bombings in Russia have made some worried about the Olympian's safety in Sochi.
But Bowe says her daughter has competed in many different countries before and says her faith keeps her at ease.
"I am concerned but it's not an overriding fear that I have. I'm at peace."
When it comes time to compete in February, Bowe says it's not about a medal for her daughter.
"For Brittany, it was one more race. And that's how we're approaching the winter olympics. It will be one more race," said Bowe.
Joey Mantia, who is also from Ocala will head to Sochi on the US men's speed skating team.
For those who "bowelieve," there will be a opening ceremony party at the College of Central Florida on February 7th.
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