- Speed Skating
14 most memorable moments from speed skating in Sochi
1. The photo finish in the men's 500m- It's no secret that the Dutch dominated speed skating in Sochi, but perhaps the most entertaining race of the Olympics was the men's 500m. There was a photo finish in which Jan Smeekens thought he had won gold, but after some confusion, it turned Michel Mulder was the real gold medalist.
Embedded video_content_type: Photo finish creates speed skating confusion
2. Shani Davis missing the podium in the 1000m- The U.S. struggled mightily in Sochi, but the first indication of that problem was really in the men's 1000m. The U.S. had two strong contenders in Shani Davis and Brian Hansen, and Davis had the chance to become the first American male to win the same event at three consecutive Winter Olympics. But Davis skated an astonishingly slow time, and it was a shocking turn of events. Hansen couldn't get it going either, and that was just the beginning of the U.S. turmoil.
Embedded video_content_type: Shani Davis: No three-peat in 1000m
3. The suits- Ah, the suits. Much of the drama around American skaters surrounded on their high-tech suits that were made by Under Armour. The U.S. problems in Sochi were originally blamed on the suits, which officials believed were slowing down a U.S. team that had thrived early in the speed skating season. The U.S. turned to their old World Cup suits, but when their results didn't improve, it became clear the suits weren't the problem. Now, the U.S. has signed with Under Armour through 2022.
4. Sven Kramer winning the men's 5000m- Kramer was one of the biggest figures heading into the Games, and he proved what the hype was about on the first day of skating competition. He won gold in the 5000m in an Olympic record time and stood atop an all Dutch podium to accept the spoils of his victory. Kramer and the Dutch set the tone early, and they didn't slow down.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Sven Kramer headlines men's 5000m
5. The men's 10,000m- Usually, the 10,000m is a slow and grueling race and not what one would call a fan favorite. But there was drama in the event in Sochi. Kramer, a huge favorite entering the Games, was skating last. Dutch long distance skater Jorrit Bergsma, who is engaged to American skater Heather Richardson, was up before Kramer, and had a really nice start to the race. But it was his last several laps that were amazing. Bergsma picked up speed and shattered the Olympic record, winning his first gold medal and defeating Kramer, who won silver and looked like he could beat Bergsma, but trailed towards the end.
Embedded video_content_type: Bergsma wins 10,000m, Kramer denied a gold again
6. The U.S. women stumbling in the 1000m- After the disappointment in the men's 1000m, fans could rest easy knowing they had arguably their best skaters in the women's 1000m. Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe dominated the World Cup season and were big medal favorites. But to no avail. Both struggled mightily and finished outside the podium, furthering the speculation about why things were going so terribly wrong.
Embedded video_content_type: Team USA’s speed skaters still struggle
7. Ireen Wuest's dominant Olympics- It's not a moment per se, but Ireen Wuest absolutely dominated in Sochi. She won five medals, gold in the 3000m and team pursuit and silver in the 1000m, 1500m and 5000m. Wuest's performance was one of the great speed skating shows in history, and she was a huge part of the Dutch success in the Olympics.
Embedded video_content_type: Speed skater Ireen Wuest wins gold in 3000m
8. Dutch dominance- There's no point in beating around the bush, the Dutch team had the most dominant performance in an individual sport of any country in any Winter Olympics. They won 23 total medals, eight of which were gold. The men only lost one race--the 1500m-- and it was by .003. It was an unprecedented showing, and it'll live in Olympic history forever.
Embedded video_content_type: Total domination by the Netherlands in speed skating
9. Martina Sablikova defending her 5000m gold- The 5000m looked like another Dutch event in the beginning of the big pairing between Sablikova and Wuest. Wuest had a big lead and looked poised to grab gold over Sablikova, who won the event in 2010. But the Czech superstar held it together and slowly chipped away at Wuest's lead, eventually taking over first and handily winning. Sablikova is the best female long distance skater in the world and has been insanely consistent, and she proved once again why she's the best there is.
Embedded video_content_type: Martina Sablikova defends gold medal title in 5000m
10. Jorien Ter Mors winning gold in the 1500m- Jorien Ter Mors is an interesting skater and a rare breed. She skates both short and long track. Ter Mors, a Dutch native, has been vocal in her preference of short track over long track, which is almost blasphemous in the Netherlands. But she proved she was more than a one-trick pony when she took home a surprise gold in the 1500m, defeating favorite and countrywoman Ireen Wuest.
Embedded video_content_type: Jorien Ter Mors sets 1500m speed skating Olympic record
11. Lee Sang-Hwa owning the 500m- Lee has been an absolute force in the 500m, and there was little doubt heading into the race that she would win. Whatever doubt there was, she destroyed with the swift movement of her skates. She won easily, earning gold and an Olympic record in the process. It was a rare non-Dutch moment in an all-Dutch Olympics.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Lee Sang-Hwa wins 500m gold
12. Zhang Hong wins China's first speed skating gold- Going into the 1000m, the U.S. was a favorite, and the last contender on most people's minds were the Chinese. But in the end, they were victorious. Zhang won gold and shocked the world, giving China its first speed skating gold medal in history.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Zhang Hong takes home 1000m gold, U.S. skaters disappoint
13. Complete disappointment from the U.S.- It was so shocking, it's still hard to believe. The U.S. team, who had performed exceedingly well in the World Cup season, ended the Olympics with zero medals. That's the third time in history that happened to them, and the last time was in 1984 in Sarajevo. There were huge stars going into the games like Davis, Richardson and Bowe. There was drama once things started going wrong. There was sadness when veterans like Davis couldn't summon the power to will themselves to a goal they've achieved so many times before. But more than all, there was disappointment when the realization sunk in that the most accomplished Winter Olympic sport in U.S. history had completely evaporated in front of the athletes.
Embedded video_content_type: No smiles for USA speed skating team
14. The team pursuit seals it all up- By the time the team pursuit rolled around, there was almost no hope left amongst all countries skating. Everyone seemed to be fighting for second, and it was astounding to watch such powerhouses content with settling for no gold. In the end, exactly what those countries thought would happen did. The Netherlands won both men's and women's easily. The U.S. were eliminated in the first round in both men's and women's. And as the Dutch skaters circled the rink, national flag in hand, and the U.S. were forced to look on, the truth sunk in during one single moment that epitomized the Sochi speed skating experience. The U.S. failed, other countries fought to stay afloat, and the Dutch skaters looked like they were a dad playing his 6-year-old son in a backyard basketball game. So smooth, so dominant, and so unfair.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Photos: Dutch win men's team pursuit
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