Michael van der Galien

The Dutch Celebrate: First Gold Medal of The Olympic Games in Vancouver

Posted on February 13 2010 5:44 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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What a race! Sven Kramer, quite possibly the most famous athlete in the Netherlands, just secured our first gold medal of the Olympic Games in Vancouver by winning the 5.000 meters speed skating.

Kramer is  more than just a good athlete; he’s a champion in every sense of the word. He has dominated his sports (the long distances and all-round tournaments) for four years – since the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, in other words.

Although he’s only 23 years old, Kramer was already on his way to becoming a living legend. He won the Dutch, the European and the World Championships on the 5.000 meter and the 10.000 meter in seasons 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. He won a silver medal and a bronze medal during the last Winter Olympics, when he was 19 years old.

In short, all he needed to actually become a living legend was a gold medal. He now has it.

Speed skating is very popular in the Netherlands and Kramer is a household name. The pressure on this extremely confident and focused young man was gigantic. As all great athletes, however, Kramer had no problem dealing with all the attention and pressure. He came, saw, and conquered.

Well done Sven – the whole country celebrates this victory with you.

More about the Dutch love for speed skating tomorrow.

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