Jordan Stolz from Kewaskum, Wisconsin, is making his Winter Olympic debut in the men’s 500m speed skating event on Saturday.
The 17-year-old had a stellar season leading up to the Olympics, winning the 500m and 1000m events at U.S. Trials and setting world junior records in both disciplines.
Austin Kleba, 22, from Campton Hills, Illinois, is also making his Olympic debut for Team USA.
The U.S. has been in a funk when it comes to winning Olympic medals in speed skating, totaling one since the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in long track and two in short track. Historically, America has the most gold medals in the men’s 500m, but Joey Cheek was the most recent winner in 2006.
Haavard Lorentzen from Norway returns as the defending gold medalist. He set the Olympic record in 2018 and became the first Norwegian to win the gold since 1948. South Korea’s Cha Min-Kyu lost out on first by 0.01 seconds to Lorentzen.
Laurent Dubreuil of Canada enters competition with momentum from a strong season. He skated the fastest time in the 500m last year and is first in the World Cup standings.
Thirty skaters will compete in 15 pairs. Kleba will be up first, and Stolz with perform fifth.
Dubreuil is in the final pairing with Tatsuya Shinhama, a 25-year-old from Japan who won two World Cup races this season.
SEE MORE: Meet the Athletes: Jordan Stolz
Women’s team pursuit
The women’s team pursuit returns for the fifth time at the Winter Olympics with the quarterfinal on Saturday.
Four of eight teams will advance based on time trials. The top-four squads reach the semifinals while the bottom four will skate for placement.
The next two rounds will involve head-to-head elimination races, which is unique in long track.
The eight teams competing are Japan, China, Norway, Netherlands, Belarus, Canada, Poland and the ROC. The U.S. did not qualify.
Speed skating resumes at 3 a.m. ET starting with the team pursuit followed by the men’s 500m.