speed skating

USA's 17-Year-Old Speed Skater Jordan Stolz Takes 13th in 500m, China's Tingyu Gao Breaks Olympic Record

Stolz became the third-youngest men’s U.S. speed skater in Olympic history

Jordan Stolz

It was the first of what likely will be many Olympic events for 17-year-old speed skater Jordan Stolz.

The Wisconsin native made his debut at the 2022 Winter Games on Saturday, becoming the third-youngest U.S. men's speed skater in Olympic history behind Eric Heiden and Emery Lehman, both of whom also debuted at 17.

Stolz took an early lead in the men's 500m with a time of 34.85 seconds but ultimately fell to 13th. He finished 0.53 seconds behind winner Tingyu Gao, who broke an Olympic record with a time of 34.32 seconds to take gold for China.

Gao's record-breaking time was just enough to hold off Korea's Cha Min-Kyu, who finished in 34.39 seconds for silver. Japan's Wataru Morishige took bronze with a time of 34.49 seconds.

The United States' Austin Kleba, a 22-year-old from Illinois also making his Olympic debut, opened the event with a time of 35.40. Kleba, who slipped after crossing the finish line and crashed into the wall, finished 27th in the 30-man field.

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"It's a surreal experience to be out here and be able to compete with the best in the world," Kleba said after the event.

Stolz, who entered as the U.S. record holder in the men's 500m, will also compete in the 1000m on Feb. 18. He won the 500m and 1000m events an Olympic trials and also holds the junior world record in each.

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