U.S. speedskater Lamb earns third trip to Olympics with 5,000 win

Maria Lamb competes in the women's 5,000 meters during the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Kearns, Utah.
Maria Lamb competes in the women's 5,000 meters Wednesday.
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Maria Lamb earned her third trip to the Olympics by winning the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Speedskating trials on Wednesday.


The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just weeks away. See which American athletes to watch as we count down to the Games.

Lamb dominated the 11-skater field in the longest women's race with a winning time of 7 minutes, 13.31 seconds. She finished more than 7 seconds ahead of runner-up Petra Acker.

Lamb, 27, overcame breathing problems and a severe migraine that sent her to a hospital emergency room two days earlier. Now, she's headed back to the Olympics after also competing at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.

''It was a little bit scary,'' Lamb said of her health issues. ''I'm just so happy I made it.''

Theresa Cliff-Ryan had hoped to compete in the 5,000 only two days after a training mishap left her with a concussion and severe facial injuries.

After failing to pass a concussion test, she heeded the doctor's advice not to skate.

''I was hoping I had a shot,'' said Cliff-Ryan, who lost two teeth and fractured another when she fell on her face after being taken out by a crashing skater during a training session. ''It's just a bad accident. I'm pretty bummed I didn't get to skate.''

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