Dutch ice skaters amass string of medals at world championships
Dutch skaters swept the board at the world speed skating championships 2017 in Gangneug, South Korea. Medals aplenty. In total, the Dutch took 8 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals from 14 races.
Image: ©RVO / Eric de Vries
The Dutch men’s team swept across the individual distances, with gold in the 500, 1,000, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 metre events and the team pursuit title. Two gold medals were picked up by Kjeld Nuis, in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres, whereas Sven Kramer took gold in the men’s 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres. Jan Smeekens won the 500 metres. The women’s team took two golds. Ireen Wüst won in the 3,000 metres and the team pursuit. She also took silver in the 1,500 metres.
Some might find it strange that a country known for its maritime climate and mild winters associated with it, skating is one of the most popular sports. Although people settle for artificial ice and ice rinks, the Dutch, however, find true happiness on natural ice: on frozen canals, lakes and ponds, streams and channels.
Olympic track record
Skating plays a major role in Holland. Their passion for the sport comes with a high degree of competitiveness, too. Over the years the Dutch have managed to rack up an impressive collection of medals. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Netherlands won 23 medals in speed skating and one medal in short track speed skating. Olympic records were smashed on the men's 5,000 metres by Sven Kramer, the men's 10,000 metres by Jorrit Bergsma, the men's team pursuit by Jan Blokhuijsen, Sven Kramer and Koen Verweij. The women also achieved success. Medals were garnered on the women's 1,500 metres by Jorien ter Mors and the women's team pursuit by Marrit Leenstra, Jorien ter Mors and Ireen Wüst. The Netherlands is the first country in history to achieve four podium sweeps at one Winter Olympics.