At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the Netherlands dominated speed skating. They won eight gold medals and 23 medals overall. Of the 12 Olympic events four years ago, the Netherlands swept the podium four times.
On Saturday, at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, the Netherlands once again won gold, silver and bronze in a single event. Carlijn Achtereekte won gold, Ireen Wust won silver and Antoinette de Jong won bronze. The lone American was Carlijn Schoutens in 22nd place.
The victory for Achtereekte was a significant surprise. Never before had she won a World Cup race. For Wust, it was her ninth Olympic medal and for de Jong, like Achtereekte, it was her first career Olympic medal. It will now be interesting to see if the Netherlands will win more Olympic medals in speed skating than they did at Sochi.
In the men's 5000 m, there was an Olympic record set. Sven Kramer broke his own Olympic record with a time of 6:09.76. Kramer had the old Olympic record of 6:10.76 that he set at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. There was also a remarkably close battle for the silver medal. Canada's Ted Jan Bloemen and Norway's Sven Lunde Pedersen, who competed in the same heat were separated by only two one-thousandths of a second with Bloemen placing second. The lone American was Emery Lehman in 22nd.
In the women's 1500-Meter on Feb. 12, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands set two significant records in winning gold. She set the record for the most speed skating gold medals with 10 (one more than Claudia Pechstein of Germany) and the record for the most medals by a Dutch Olympian all time (one more than Netherlands equestrian rider Anky van Grunsven). The top American was Brittany Bowe in fifth place.
In the men's 1500 m, reigning world champion Kjeld Nuis and silver medalist Patrick Roest led the Netherlands to a 1-2 finish, their first in the event at the Olympic Winter Games since Kees Verkerk and Ard Schenk won gold and silver for the Netherlands at the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble.
Roest won the silver medal even though he was only in the fourth pair out of 18. Roest was in the lowest pair to win a medal in the men's 1500 m speed skating event since the Norwegian legend Johann Olav Koss won the gold medal in the men's 1500m in a world record time at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in pair two. Meanwhile, Kim Min-Seok became the first South Korean ever to win an Olympic medal in the men's 1500 m speed skating event. It was South Korea's second medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Their first was a gold medal on Feb. 10 by Hyo-Jun Lim in the men's 1500 m short track speed skating. The top American in the men's 1500 m speed skating competition was Joey Mantia in eighth place.
In the women's 1000-Meter Mors became the first woman to set an Olympic speed skating record at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games of Pyeongchang. Her record time of 1:13.56 broke the previous record set by Chris Witty of the United States at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City (1:13. 83). The top American was Bowe in fourth place.
In the men's 10000 m, Bloemen smashed the Olympic record. He posted a record time of 12:39.77, which broke the record previously set by Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands (12:44.45) at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Jorrit Bergsma is the husband of American speed skating world champion Heather Bergsma (formerly Richardson).
In the women's 5000 m, the Netherlands captured their sixth gold medal in speed skating at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang as Esmee Visser won gold. Visser's win was a gigantic surprise. She wasn't even competing in the A Division women's 5000 m World Cup in Stavanger, Norway in November. The lone American was Schoutens in 11th place.
In the women's 500 m, Kodaira broke the Olympic record previously set by Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea. Kodaira's time was 36.94 seconds, which was 0.34 seconds faster than Lee when she won Olympic gold at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. For the first time since the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, there was only one 500m race instead of two separate races. In the last five Olympic Winter Games, there have been two separate 500 m races for men and women, as athletes compete in the inner lane in one race and the outer late in the other. However there did not seem to be any strong advantage to be in the inner lane rather than the outer lane, so organizers in Pyeongchang decided to go with only one race. The top American was Bowe in fifth place.
In the men's 500-Meter on Feb. 19, Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway won the gold medal in an Olympic record time of 34.41 seconds. He broke the record previously set by Casey FitzRandolph of the United States, who had a time of 34.42 seconds at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Lorentzen also won Norway's 27th medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the most medals they have ever won at a single Olympic Winter Games. The United States holds the record for the most medals won at a single Olympic Winter Games. They won 37 medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The top American in the men's 500 m speed skating race was Mitchell Whitmore in 15th place.
In the women's team pursuit, Japan's Ayano Sato, Miho Takagi and Nana Takagi set an Olympic record with a time of 2:53.89. It was also a memorable event for the United States because for the first time ever American women earned a medal in the team pursuit at the Olympic Winter Games. The American men won silver in the men's team pursuit at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver for their lone Olympic medal in the event. In Pyeongchang, Heather Bergsma won her first career Olympic medal after winning nine medals in her career at the World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships. In the bronze medal race against Canada, the tactic of going fast early worked as the Americans beat Canada by 0.45 seconds.
In the men's team pursuit, Norway won an Olympic medal for the first time ever and it was gold as they defeated the host South Koreans in the final. The Netherlands meanwhile won their 13th Olympic medal in speed skating in winning Olympic bronze. The United States finished in eighth place. AXS Sports successfully predicted a gold medal for Norway and a bronze medal for the Netherlands.
In the men's 1000 m, Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands won his second gold medal of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games after winning the men's 1500-Meter on Feb. 13. Nuis became only the third speed skater ever to win the men's 1000 m and men's 1500 m at the same Olympic Winter Games. The others were Eric Heiden of the United States at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid and Gaetan Boucher of Canada at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo. AXS Sports successfully predicted a gold medal for Nuis and a silver medal for Lorentzen. The top American was Joey Mantia in eighth place.
In the mass start speed skating event, Nana Takagi of Japan won gold on the women's side and Seung-hoon Lee won gold on the women's side. Mass start speed skating was making its return to the Olympic Winter Games as the format was used to determine the medalists for the individual disciplines at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid. Both Takagi and Lee came from behind to win their gold medals. Saskia Alusalu of Estonia had a significant lead in the women's team pursuit and Kramer had a significant lead in the men's team pursuit but could not hold on for medals.
Lee was the only long track speed skater from South Korea to win the gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. It was Lee's second Olympic gold medal of his career as he won gold in the men's 10000m at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Bart Swings of Belgium won his country's sixth medal ever at the Olympic Winter Games and first since speed skater Bart Veldkamp won bronze at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. The top American in the men's mass start was Joey Mantia in ninth place and the top American in the women's mass start was Heather Bergsma in 11th place. AXS Sports successfully predicted a gold medal for Lee and a medal for Swings in the men's mass start and a silver medal for Bo-reum Kim of South Korea in the women's mass start.
Here are all the winners in the speed skating events at the Winter Olympics 2018:
(results will be posted after each event)
GOLD: Carljn Achtereekte (Netherlands) 3:59.21
SILVER: Ireen Wust (Netherlands) 3:59.29
BRONZE: Antoinette de Jong (Netherlands) 4:00.02
GOLD: Sven Kramer (Netherlands) 6:09.76 (Olympic Record)
SILVER: Ted-Jan Bloemen (Canada) 6:11.616
BRONZE: Sverre Lunde Pedersen (Norway) 6:11.618
GOLD: Ireen Wust (Netherlands) 1:54.35
SILVER: Miho Takagi (Japan) 1:54.55
BRONZE: Marrit Leenstra (Netherlands) 1:55.26
GOLD: Kjeld Nuis (Netherlands) 1:44.01
SILVER: Patrick Roest (Netherlands) 1:44.86
BRONZE--Kim Min-Seok (South Korea) 1:44.93
GOLD: Jorien ter Mors (Netherlands) 1:13.56 (Olympic Record)
SILVER: Nao Kodaira (Japan) 1:13.82
BRONZE: Miho Takagi (Japan) 1:13.98
GOLD: Ted-Jan Bloemen (Canada) 12:39.77 (Olympic Record)
SILVER: Jorrit Bergsma (Netherlands) 12:41.98
BRONZE: Nicola Tumolero (Italy) 12:54.32
GOLD: Esmee Visser (Netherlands) 6:50.23
SILVER: Martina Sablikova (Czech Republic) 6:51.85
BRONZE: Natalya Voronina (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 6:53.98
GOLD: Nao Kodaira (Japan) 36.94 (Olympic Record)
SILVER: Sang-hwa Lee (South Korea) 37.33
BRONZE: Karolina Erbanova (Czech Republic) 37.34
GOLD: Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen (Norway) 34:41 (Olympic Record)
SILVER: Cha Min-kyu (South Korea) 34.42
BRONZE: Gao Tingyu (China) 34.65
Women’s Team Pursuit:
BRONZE: United States
Men’s Team Pursuit:
SILVER: South Korea
GOLD: Kjeld Nuis (Netherlands) 1:07.95
SILVER: Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen (Norway) 1:07.99
BRONZE: Tae-yun Kim (South Korea) 1:08.22
Women’s Mass Start:
GOLD: Nana Takagi (Japan)
SILVER: Bo-reum Kim (South Korea)
BRONZE: Irene Schouten (Netherlands)
Men’s Mass Start:
GOLD: Seung-hoon Lee (South Korea)
SILVER: Bart Swings (Belgium)
BRONZE: Koen Verweij (Netherlands)