BOWElieve in Ocala native at Sochi Winter Games


US Speedskating

Brittany Bowe set the world record in the 1,000 meters last November at the Olympic trials.

It takes countless hours to reach the level of competition speed skater Brittany Bowe will be facing at this years Olympics, but she has carved through every obstacle life has put in front of her thus far. The world will be watching in the coming weeks, as Bowe and the entire Olympic team represent the United States at the 22nd Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

It’s been a wild ride for the 25-year-old Ocala native. Bowe started her career as an accomplished inline speedskater, transitioned to a Division 1 basketball point guard, before lacing up the ice skates in July of 2010.

In that short time, Bowe has elevated her way to the top of the sport, and will find herself competing against the world elite in the coming weeks.

“Competing in Sochi is a dream come true; it’s the biggest stage an athlete can compete on,” said Bowe in a message to the Finger Lakes Times, while finalizing training in Italy in the weeks leading up to the games.

“My journey on the road to Sochi has been one of the most memorable moments of my life, and being able to share it with everyone is an honor. The amount of support and love I have received along the way is humbling and, without each and every person, I wouldn’t be less than two weeks away from making my dream a reality.”

The love is widespread in Central Florida and beyond for Bowe, with a ‘BOWElieve’ slogan taking full flight in the months leading up to the Olympics.

“We’ve given away over 2,500 ‘BOWElieve’ shirts,” said Ms. Debbie Bowe, Brittany’s mother. “After watching the (Vancouver) games in 2010, she told her coaches and team at FAU that she would be at the next Olympics. One of her coaches said they ‘BOWElieved’ in her, and it’s sorta stuck since then,” said Bowe.

Brittany is no stranger to international competition. She began skating at eight years old, and from 2002 to 2008, Bowe claimed 32 World Championship medals in inline skating and three Pan-American golds in 2007.

The drive to succeed, and Bowe having such a supportive group around her throughout her career has helped motivate and push others as well.

“I have looked up to Brittany my entire life. When she sets her mind to something she works hard for it and never gives up until she accomplishes it,” said her sister Brooke. “Watching her grow into the person she is today has made me realize that anything is possible and no dream is to big. I am beyond proud of my sissy and I am so excited to watch her in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games,” added Brooke, an accomplished dancer in her own right.

Brittany has been around sports and competition her whole life. Bowe grew up in the basketball gym with her dad, who taught high school and coached football, basketball and track. That in house training helped Bowe star in basketball at Trinity Catholic High School, in Ocala, where she was coached by her father. Bowe earned runner-up honors for the Florida class 3A Player of the Year her senior year.

Her mother is quick to tell you that even with the in house love and support, it takes a special individual to reach their full potential.

“The main thing it takes is passion,” said Ms. Debbie Bowe. “That’s part of the success, ownership, it’s got to be something you want to do…that’s her life, she loves it.” Ms. Bowe would go on to say- “There’s never been one time in my life where I’ve had to motivate Brittany, or her sister to go to practice, it’s the opposite, trying to get them off the court, or the rink, or the dance floor,” added Ms. Bowe.

After high school, Brittany would go on to play four years of NCAA Division 1 basketball at Florida Atlantic University, writing her name in the school’s record books. Bowe is 8th on the Owls’ all-time scoring list, 4th in assists and 9th in steals.

After graduating in 2010, Bowe mulled professional basketball but in the back of her mind always wanted to pursue her dream of making an Olympic team. Thats when she packed everything up and moved to Salt Lake City to commit to speedskating full time.

Fast forward four years of hard work and dedication, and Bowe has propelled herself to world class status. She has already gained 10 World Cup medals, holds international track records, and became the world record holder in the women’s 1,000 meters last November.

 The games officially start Thurs. Feb. 6 with several events. The Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games will follow Friday Feb. 7. The United States speed skating team will send some of the most talented athletes to the cold weather games, with several coming from the sunshine state.

Brittany Bowe’s Olympic schedule

Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m on NBC sports — 500 meters

Feb. 13 at 8:00 p.m on NBC — 1,000 meters

Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m on NBC — 1,500 meters

Feb. 21-22 at 8:00 p.m on NBC — Women’s Team Pursuit

Get the full schedule for U.S speed skating, and all other sports at