Imagine picking up a sport you’d never tried before and then competing in that same sport three years later on the Olympic stage.
Having recently wrapped up her best season to date, Bowe captured 19 World Cup medals, received the Oscar Mathisen Award for displaying the most outstanding speed skating performance for the 2014/2015 season, and was crowned the overall World Sprint Champion for the second consecutive season. If that’s not an impressive enough recap, her performances also earned her the No. 1 overall ranking in World Cup standings, a new world record in the 1000m and several Team USA Female Athlete of the Month nominations.
And while she’s a natural on the ice—or really in any athletic competition for that matter—Bowe’s success comes from more than just proper nutrition, strict conditioning schedules and discipline. It comes from having a positive mindset and knowing that only she can hold herself back from accomplishing her goals—to become one of the best at what she does, no matter what she’s doing.
OVER AND BACK
Bowe first started skating when she was 8 years old after attending a local skate rink for a friend’s birthday party. Despite racing around on a pair of Fisher-Price skates, she captured the attention of former Pan American and World Team coach Renee Hildebrand, who was (and still is) coaching the local inline skating team in Ocala, Florida.
“She happened to see me skating and invited me to a practice to try this sport I didn’t even know existed—inline skating,” says Bowe. “I was hooked after that.”
After dominating the inline scene for years, Bowe temporarily hung up her skates to focus on a college basketball career at Florida Atlantic University—where she’d become the school’s eighth all-time leading scorer and named the 2010 Female Athlete of the Year in basketball by FAU. She then considered talking her skills to the professional level. However, after watching friends and competitors from the inline world compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics from her couch, a fire was lit inside her to pursue her life-long dream of becoming an Olympian.
“There is a long and notable list of inline skaters that have made the transition to speed skating and were very successful in doing so. I knew I could do it too,” the 28-year-old says. “I always continue to push myself past what I think my limit is and I have proved to myself time and time again that I have no limit. It’s just mind over matter to what I think is possible.”
Just a few months after graduating from FAU, she put her basketball aspirations aside and made the move from Florida to Salt Lake City in hopes of making her dream a reality, in a sport she had zero experience in—speedskating. A year later, she was named to the U.S. National Racing Program and has since become one of the best long track speedskaters in the world.
“The transition was difficult, but I was able to catch on fairly quickly,” Bowe says. “Being on skates for the majority of my life definitely made the transition from inline to ice manageable. Inline skating is very tactical because you are competing in a pack against other skaters, while in long track speedskating, it’s you against the clock—a time trial format.”
With less than four years of speedskating under her belt, Bowe’s dreams of becoming an Olympian become a reality when she was named to the 2014 Sochi team. Coming off a spectacular season, Bowe was considered one of the top contenders to take home gold in multiple distances. Looking at her track record, no one would argue that prediction either. However, after less than favorable performances Bowe left Sochi without a medal.
“Although becoming an Olympian was a dream come true, my performance at the 2014 Games was a huge disappointment,” the World Champion says. “Falling short of a medal over casted what one would think would be a great accomplishment for any athlete, and I used that experience as motivation. A year after one of the most disappointing competitions of my life came success at the 2015 World Championships, followed directly by the World Sprint Championships where I won three World Titles, and for the first time on the ice, earned the title of being World Champion.”
Bowe’s success continued through the 2015/16 season, where she’d go on to defend her World Sprint Championship title and break a couple of world records to further secure her name in speedskating history. In doing so, she was recently named a finalist of the AAU James E. Sullivan Award and is currently nominated for the 2016 Governor’s State of Sport Award.
“Since Sochi I’ve learned that how you face your struggles and overcome adversity shapes you into the person you are,” Bowe says. “You can’t lose sight of what you want — you have to continue to give your best effort and remember that there’s always going to be someone else chasing the same dream as you. You have to work harder than them.”
With the 2018 PyeongChang Games only a couple years away, you can bet Bowe’s already impressive athletic career is only getting started.
7 Facts About Brittany
Her disciplines: The 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances.
Why she chooses USANA to help fuel her: As a world-class athlete, I want to be surrounded by world class support and USANA does exactly that. The integrity that goes into the development and testing of their products gives me confidence that I am able to use their products with ease. It’s important to fuel my body with top of the line nutrition, and being a part of the USANA family, I have access to give my body exactly what it needs.
Her go-to USANA products: I really like the Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal™. It’s an essential part of my day, and I have it every morning with breakfast, with banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Almost all of the products from the Sensé line are in my bathroom as well. I love the Gentle Daily Cleanser, the Perfecting Essence, and the Natural Whitening Toothpaste.
She’s a bit superstitious: I have a very set routine on competition day that begins about three hours before the start of my race. One thing that some people may find funny is that I always put my right skate on before my left.
Where you’ll find her in the off-season: I enjoying getting back on my inline skates to train and racing to stay in shape. Or anywhere with a beach.
Her favorite artists: This is one of the hardest questions I’m asked! My taste in music ranges from electronic to country, rap to rock. However, when I’m training or preparing for a race, I’m most likely listening to Seven Lions, Adventure Club, Bassnectar or Above & Beyond.
Favorite social media channel: Instagram! Follow her at @brittanybowe.
*The mentioned athletes are either distributors or dedicated users who have received compensation for their partnership and/or complimentary USANA products.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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