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Team Oranje tenth with four gold medals

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VANCOUVER Ė Canada outperformed all other countries competing at the Olympic Winter Games in collecting the highest number of gold medals, leaving formidable contenders such as the U.S., Germany and South Korea to pick up a greater number of silver and bronze honours. With over eighty countries participating in the winter games, Team Oranje claimed four gold, one silver and three bronze medals. All but one of the gold medals was earned by the speed skating team. While the number of gold medals easily could have been higher, the 10 kilometer distance comes to mind, for example, Team Oranje ranked tenth on the gold score and twelfth on the total medal score. In past games, when the number of competing countries was smaller, Oranje climbed as high as fifth on the gold score. There also were years, 1960 and 1984, when Team Oranje returned home without any gold medals. This yearís gold medalists were: Sven Kramer, 5K speed skating, Ireen Wust, 1,500 metres speed skating, and Mark Tuitert, 1,500 metres speed skating. Nicolien Sauerbreij went home as the gold medalist in snowboarding ladiesí parallel giant slalom. Silver medalist is Annette Gerritsen on the 500 metres speed skating, Laurine van Riessen took bronze in the 1,000 metres. Former gold medalist Bob de Jong took bronze at the 10K distance. The Dutch also took the bronze medal for the Menís Team Pursuit speed skating (Sven Kramer, Mark Tuitert, Simon Kuipers and Jan Blokhuijsen). Several Team Oranje members set personal records and a number of them earned an Olympic certificate. Of all the venues people could visit during the Olympic Winter Games, Heineken Holland House, adjacent to the Richmond Olympic Oval, certainly will have left a lasting impression with many.