Bonnie Blair Cruikshank is our local Olympic superstar: five time gold medalist, six medals overall. She knows just a thing or two about U.S. speed skating and the rise of women's sports. And Bonnie was the last American woman to win the Olympic 500 until Erin Jackson did it.
"Happy for Erin," Blair Cruikshank says. "She had a great race. You know, I kind of knew the ice was going to favor her because she's got that high tempo. That quick frequency. And as it turned out, it was the best thing for her. Erin was one that really stepped up to the plate and was like, alright, forget that pressure. I'm just gonna go. I'm gonna blast it. I'm gonna have fun."
Lance Allan: "So Jordan Stolz makes his debut. Like DJ said to me, Bonnie, you know, that first Olympics. I don't care how many people are in the stands. Your eyes are wide, and I'm sure it was the same for you. Thirteenth out of 30. Not a bad start and his best race the 1000 coming up?"
"Yeah, for Jordan I think it was great to have that 500 meters," Blair Cruikshank says. "Get a lot of the butterflies out, because the 1000 is going to be his better race. He doesn't have that speed right off the gun. And that's one of the things, in the 1000, you start halfway down the track. You get to the turn. His turns are phenomenal."
Lance Allan: "Emery Lehman. He was happy they won the bronze, and they recovered. But obviously it was disappointing because they had the fastest time in December. But you just have to flip that switch don't you in that hour and a half to realize hey, wash away the disappointment. Salvage what you can?"
"I still think for our boys to come home with a medal, it's definitely a very big plus," Blair Cruikshank says. "For them. For U.S. Speed skating. Maybe not the color they wanted being the world record holders and the time for that. But it was still a good solid race."
Lance Allan: "So you got the individual medals, for the U.S. women. Do you need the individual medal for the U.S. men at this point?"
"You always want more medals? Right Lance? C'mon! We gotta have more, so," Blair Cruikshank says. "You know, I think we've got Jordan in the 1000. We got Joey Mantia still left to do the mass start. So we'll keep our fingers crossed and wake up in the middle of the night and look at the results."
Lance Allan: "Obviously it was little bit of a slow start and you wonder, OK is U.S. Speed skating going to be like they have been for the last decade. At least we're seeing some progress. But how do you see it, in their performance right now?"
"Yeah, you know, I guess I would have liked to have seen Brittany skate a little bit better in the 1500. I know she wanted to skate better in the 1500," Blair Cruikshank says. "When I look at our distance men, they kind of went to Beijing and accomplished what they needed."