2014 Winter Olympics

Olympic Speedskating 2014: Live Women's 3000m Medal Results and Analysis

Irene Wust captured gold, Martina Sablikova captured silver, but the story was Olga Graf who snagged Russia's first medal with a bronze.
Irene Wust captured gold, Martina Sablikova captured silver, but the story was Olga Graf who snagged Russia's first medal with a bronze.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2014

It's not very often that you win an Olympic gold medal and find that your accomplishment has been completely overshadowed, but that's exactly what happened to the Netherlands' Irene Wust on Sunday afternoon in Sochi.

Wust, 27, captured gold in the women's 3,000-meter race—her third overall speedskating gold and second at that distance—but it was underdog Russian skater Olga Graf who stole the show.

Graf, who wasn't expected to reach the podium, set the arena on fire with a tremendous performance, initially snagging the lead and ultimately holding on for a bronze medal, the Russian team's first medal of the Sochi Games.

The Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova—the 2010 gold medalist in the women's 3,000 meters—had to settle for second place and a silver this time around.

Claudia Pechstein, who was attempting to capture her 10th overall Olympic medal, finished a surprising fourth and failed in her quest to become the oldest winter athlete to win individual gold and the first to medal in six different Games. 

For the American team, it was another disappointing day at the rink.

Jilleanne Rookard, who entered today as a longshot, and finished tops among American women in 10th place.

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