Stolz, Kleba make Olympic Debuts in Men's 500m

by Brennan Smith

Jordan Stolz and Austin Kleba made their Olympic debuts Saturday in the men’s 500m event at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.   

The 17-year-old Stolz, who holds both the men’s 500m and 1000m distance Junior World Records, skated to 13th place and a time of 34.85.  

I was pretty happy with my lap, the opener just wasn’t quite there,” Stolz said.  

China’s Tingyu Gao won the Gold Medal with a new Olympic Record time of 34.32, Korea’s Min Kyu Cha won Silver with a time of 34.39 and Japan’s Wataru Morishige won Bronze with a time of 34.49.  

Kleba, the 500m Gold Medalist from the 2022 Four Continents Speed Skating Championships, skated to 27th place and a time of 35.40.  

Kleba lost his balance and took a small tumble after crossing the finish line but was all smiles after.  

It’s an awesome experience to be at the Olympics and be able to experience this with the best in the world,” Kleba said. “Can’t complain even with falling at the end.”  

US Speedskating Olympic action continues Sunday with the Men’s Team Pursuit Quarterfinals and Women’s 500m races scheduled to begin at 9:00 pm Beijing time and 6:00 am MST/8:00 am EST Sunday morning in the United States.  

Tune in to NBC and Peacock to catch all of the US Speedskating action throughout the Olympics.