The Dutch speed skating Mulder twins were able to win both the Gold and Bronze medals in the Men’s 500m event. Although all three skaters on the medal stand were from the Netherlands, the order suffered a great deal of controversy. With Michael Mulder watching the final heat of the night, it seemed he would be wearing silver around his neck.
As the Mulder twins turned their attention to the final order on the screen, fellow Dutch skater Jan Smeekens had his name in bright lights. As he skated his victory lap in Adler arena, Michael thought he had just come in a very close second.
“When he crossed the line I thought we were equal, I knew my total,” Michael Mulder told reporters concerning the breath taking photo finish. “I saw ‘1’ against his name and I thought maybe they correctly pointed out who was fastest in thousands of a second and I thought I was second.”
The winner is decided by the combined total of the final two times posted by skaters. Michael had posted a time of 69.312 seconds. For about two or three minutes, it appeared that the stellar time just wasn’t good enough. But then the numbers began to adjust and it showed that Mulder was actually 0.012 seconds faster than his now second place countryman.
“I looked at the board and saw his time was going one hundredth up. At first I didn’t believe it and wasn’t sure but then soon enough I saw my name on top of the list and knew it was a official result. Unbelievable. Great feeling.”
— erben wennemars (@erbenwennemars) February 11, 2014
Ronald Mulder finished in third place, making the Mulder twins the first combo to win medals in a Winter Olympics individual event since 1984. Ronald was very happy for his brother to win even stating, “If your twin brother becomes Olympic champion and you win bronze you have to be satisfied.” Ronald jumped three spots in his final heat to claim the Bronze medal.
The Netherlands jumped into third place in the Olympic medal count, past the United States, with the speed skating sweep. Dutch speed skaters have owned the event, winning a global record 30 Gold medals. With the Netherlands being so used to sweeping the event, the results came as no surprise. However, the Mulder twins are thrilled at the final outcome.
[Image Via www.sochi2014.com]