Dutch long-track speedskaters finish with a record 24 medals

  • Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 4:36pm
  • Sports

Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia — As the Dutch closed a record-setting Olympics in speedskating, the U.S. athletes were glad the disaster was finally over.

“My skating’s been very frustrating so it’s nice to realize that it’s just skating and there’s a lot of other stuff to look forward to in life and to put this behind me,” said Jonathan Kuck, 23, who plans to retire. “So, in that sense it is nice to be done with it.”

Dutch long-track speedskaters finished with a record 24 medals—including a record eighth in gold—after its men and women each took gold in the team pursuit Saturday. For men, Korea took silver and Poland took bronze. For women, Poland was second followed by Russia.

The U.S. men finished seventh by beating France while the women finished six after losing to Canada.

Sochi is the first Games since 1984, and just the second ever, where U.S. long-track skaters finished without a medal. The past two weeks have been marked by turmoil and disappointing results, as well as a race suit controversy and criticism of US Speedskating.

American Brian Hansen, a medal contender headed into the Olympics, said there isn’t a complicated recipe for the federation to restore confidence in skaters.

“It’s simple, and it’s doing what you know works,” Hansen, 23, said. “I don’t mean that pointed in any specific direction. Whatever the skaters have done to get their success, continuing that forward.”