It is a moment that may top the fall of the French skier in the first five seconds of her Olympic run, here. Top speed skater Sven Kramer lost his second gold medal after winning the 10,000m after his coach mistakingly sent him into the wrong lane — resulting in his disqualification.
He did not realize that he had skated in the wrong lane for the final eight laps until after the race. His coach, Gerard Kemkers, sent him to the wrong lane on a changeover when he had clearly won the race. That resulted in Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea winning the gold despite being four seconds slower than Kramer.
That would make for an interesting negligence claim against Kemkers. The problem is that, as Kramer said himself, it is ultimately the decision of the skater on the ice to change lanes. I will, therefore, have to confine my trolling for torts to the defective Olympic medal case, here.
The other skaters were very sympathetic and gracious. de Jong said “Finally I beat Sven, but I don’t want it this way. When he was coming off the ice, I said I was sorry for him, but I didn’t know at that moment what happened. He only said, ‘Kemkers,’ and I didn’t know what that meant.” I could come up with a few likely profane definitions of “Kemkers,” but it turns out to be the name of his coach.
Silver medalist Ivan Skobrev of Russia was particularly gracious and said Kramer “is the best skater in the world. Sven made a mistake. That is his fault. My medal was bronze, but I have silver.”
This moment follows a bizarre moment earlier when Kramer asked an NBC reporter if she was “stupid” when she asked him who he was and what he had won after his gold medal win:
I am impressed by the sportsman-like conduct of all of the skaters, particularly Kramer who took full responsibility despite this devastating loss — it beats recent demonstrations on the squash courts, here.
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