United States speed skater Joey Mantia will make his 2022 Winter Olympic debut in the men’s 1500m on Tuesday.
Mantia, a 36-year-old from Ocala, Florida, sits atop the World Cup standings in the 1500m entering his third-career Winter Olympic Games.
He faces a difficult field, though, as the Dutch team continues to support multiple skaters in contention for gold. Athletes from the Netherlands have won two gold and two silver medals over the past three Winter Olympics in the men’s 1500m.
Defending gold medalist Kjeld Nuis is back at 32 years old. He also won the gold medal in the 1000m in 2018. Thomas Krol, the reigning World Cup champion, finished second behind Nuis in the 1500m at Dutch trials.
That’s a lot of firepower for the sport’s most dominant country.
The United States was a major player in the men’s 1500 during the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Americans earned an Olympic gold medal, two silvers and a bronze in those competitions.
Mantia is in position to contend for his first medal plus get the U.S. back on the podium and out of a two-Winter Olympic funk.
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Skaters will start in a staggered pairing and race 3.5 laps around the 400-meter oval. Each athlete gets one attempt to set the fastest time and alternates taking the inside path.
The competitors are placed in pairs based on World Cup Olympic Qualifying event results, with the top-seeded skaters performing last.
The race will start at 5:30 a.m. ET. See the full speed skating schedule on NBCOlmpics.com.