Speedskating continues to be one of the most action-packed, adrenaline-filled events at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The men's 1,000-meter event figures to be one of the sport's most exciting contests, as the United States looks to earn a medal on the blades of Shani Davis.
However, the United States will have to compete with the speedskating powerhouse Netherlands if the team is to reach the podium.
The Dutch boast a strong group featuring Michel Mulder, who took home the gold medal in the men's 500-meter event.
This is truly a competition that should not be missed. Let's take a look at the event's schedule and viewing information, followed by predictions of which athletes are likely to reach the podium.
Speedskating: Men's 1,000 Meters
Where: Adler Arena Skating Center
When: Wednesday, Feb. 12
TV Time: 9 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
Athletes to Watch: Shani Davis, Mo Tae-bum, Denis Kuzin, Michel Mulder
Davis will look to make Olympic history in this event. With a victory on Wednesday, he would become the first speedskater to win the same event in three consecutive Olympic Games—Davis won the men's 1,000 meters in 2006 in Turin and again in 2010 in Vancouver.
During an interview with John Powers of The Boston Globe, Davis spoke of his run at history: "People are shooting for me. I have the biggest target on my back and people really strive to beat me. That's all they train and aim for. In the 1,000, I'm the man. My job is to try to defend it."
Davis will have some stiff competition if he is to claim yet another gold medal.
Mo Tae-bum of South Korea will look to overtake Davis this year, as he finished second to the American in Vancouver's Games in 2010. He excels mainly at the 500-meter distance, but is talented enough to medal here as well.
American speedskater Brian Hansen is not a favorite in this event; however, he is excited for his race with Mo Tae-bum:
Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan will look to continue his hot streak, as he is the current world champion at the 1,000-meter distance. He earned the gold medal in the event at Sochi, so he is very familiar with the track.
The aforementioned Mulder could be a factor as well. The Netherlands produce some fine speedskaters, and he is among the top of the class. After winning the gold medal in the 500-meter event, he will look to strike once again here.
Expect a highly contested event on Day 5 of the 2014 Olympic Games. With all of the aforementioned athletes in top form, we are in for what should be a dramatic conclusion. There are plenty of skaters who will be in contention for the podium and only tenths of seconds will separate medal winners from those who will go home empty-handed.
Gold: Shani Davis
Silver: Denis Kuzin
Bronze: Mo Tae-bum
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