Feb 6, 2018; PyeongChang,KOR; A PyeongChang 2018 flag whips in the wind at the Olympic Sliding Centre during a luge training session in advance of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Winter Olympics With Some Local Flavor

The 2018 Winter Olympics has finally arrived to Pyeongchang. The opening ceremony will take place tomorrow with Mike Tirico, who is taking over for Bob Costas, and Katie Couric.

Former Gator

Erin Jackson, a Gator graduate, qualified for the U.S. speedskating team in the 500 meters back in January. She is a first-time Olympian, qualifying after just four months on ice. Jackson finished behind veterans Brittany Bowe, a native from Ocala, and Heather Bergsma.

Jackson, a 25-year-old skater, went 39.22 in her first heat and clocked a 39.04 in her second run. She becomes the third African-American to make the U.S. speedskating team for the Olympics.

Ocala Represenation

Bowe had the fastest time over two heats Friday night. She was quicker in her first run around the big oval, clocking 37.95 seconds, and her clocking a 38.18 in her second run.

Joey Mantia, also an Ocala native, will make his third winter Olympics appearance. Mantia finished in first place during his race with a time of 146.35.

Bowe will skate in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter races at Pyeongchang. Mantia will compete in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter contest.


The Olympics started on Thursday, February 8 and will last until Sunday, February 25. You can catch coverage of the games on ESPN 98.1 FM.

  • Alpine Skiing –  February 8
  • Biathlon –  February 10
  • Bobsled –  February 17
  • Cross-Country –  February
  • Curling –  February 8
  • Figure Skating –  February 9
  • Freestyle Skiing –  February 9
  • Hockey –  February 10
  • Luge –  February 9
  • Nordic Combined –  February 14
  • Short Track –  February 10
  • Skeleton –  February 13
  • Ski Jumping –  February 8
  • Snowboarding –  February 10
  • Speed Skating –  February 10

About Ingrid Ochoa-Odon

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