For the second time at the 2014 Winter Olympics the Netherlands swept a men’s speed skating event and made history. Michel Mulder won the 500m, which is the first gold medal in the 500m for the Dutch.
He beat Jan Smeekens by 12-thousandths of a second and his identical twin brother Ronald received the bronze medal.
“I didn’t really realize what time I needed,” Michel Mulder said. “In the past, I have lost races by one-hundredths a few times. It was so unbelievable.”
“This hasn’t quite registered yet,” Michel Mulder said. “This is so fantastic to see the three of us on the podium. We have become the top 500-meter nation. We worked very hard for this. It all went so fast.”
Smeekens thought he tied when the unofficial time appeared on the screen, but after a few time adjustments it showed Mulder as the winner.
The Americans did not fare well. Shani Davis came in 25th while the best in the country Tucker Fredericks came in 26th. Mitch Whitmore was 27th and Brian Hansen dropped out when he placed 33rd. Davis and Hansen both use the 500m as a warmup to their better events.