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10,000m winner Jorrit Bergsma boycotts Dutch team pursuit squad

Feb 22, 2014, 7:50 AM EDT

Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 11 Getty Images

Controversy has finally found the most dominant speedskating team at the Sochi Olympics.

Saying that he feels excluded after being assigned as a substitute for the Dutch in today’s team pursuit finals, Jorrit Bergsma – who set an new Olympic record on the way to 10,000m gold earlier this week – has boycotted the pursuit team.

According to the Associated Press, Bergsma told Netherlands-based TV network NOS that he was counted on “only in emergencies” while teammates Sven Kramer, Koen Verweij, and Jan Blokhuijsen combined to make their way into the finals in dominating fashion.

MORE: South Korea lodges protest of Sotnikova’s win over Kim

Yesterday, the Kramer/Verweij/Blokhuijsen triumvirate won their quarterfinal heat over France by almost nine seconds, and then won their semifinal over Poland by over 11 seconds.

Today, they’ll match up against Korea in the A Final.

As for the impact of Bergsma’s boycott, it’s pretty much next to zero unless Kramer, Verweij or Blokhuijsen go down with an injury before today’s races, which go off at 8:30 a.m. ET.

CLICK HERE AT 8:30 A.M. ET to watch it on

  1. 12is3times4 - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Wouldn’t that be like Tim Tebow boycotting the NFL?

  2. berendbokkespul - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Bergsma is a joke. He knew he was gonna be the substitue rider ages ago. After the disaster team pursuits of the last two olympic games, the coach took a zero risk strategy. He chose to let the main team ride together as much as possible and ultimately it paid off. They won the gold.

    Bergsma was hoping to do one race against a lesser opponent and get a very easy gold medal that way. Quite the egoistic approach, especially after he refused to take part in a team training session half a year ago.

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