Dutch Speedskaters Conclude Dominant Effort at Sochi Olympics with 23 Medals

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 24, 2014

Gold medallists from team Netherlands, left to right, Marrit Leenstra, Jorien ter Mors, Lotte van Beek, and Ireen Wust hold hold their medals during the medal ceremony for the women's team pursuit at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

A gold-medal effort in the women's team pursuit event Saturday—the final speedskating race at the Sochi Olympics—capped an absolutely dominating performance by Dutch skaters at the 2014 Winter Games.

Overall, Dutch skaters were awarded 23 of a total of 36 speedskating medals up for grabs at Sochi. In the process, the Netherlands completely shattered the previous record for speedskating medals by a country—which had been 13—set by East Germany at the 1988 Calgary Games.

Meanwhile, with a total of eight gold medals in the sport, the Netherlands topped the previous record of six in a single Olympic Games, set by the Soviet Union in 1960.

Along with a record haul of gold medals at Sochi, the Netherlands took seven silver medals in speedskating, as well as eight bronzes.

Ireen Wust, who earned gold in the women's team pursuit event, ended up with more medals than any other athlete at the Sochi Games, taking home two golds and three silvers.

The Netherlands' only other medal at Sochi—a bronze won by Sjinkie Knegt—came in short-track speedskating, in the men's 1,000-meter event.