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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Speed skaters ‘collapsed’ in Sochi

Norway’s once-mighty speed skaters, both men and women, were heading home from the Olympics bitterly disappointed by their performance. Calls were issued, also by legendary skater Johann Olav Koss, for some major changes among skating officials and coaches.

Koss sent out a message on social media that he wondered whether the leadership in the national skating federation  “are finally thinking that it’s about time they put their positions up for grabs.” Koss wrote that he feels “very sorry” for the skaters themselves, and wants to see them achieve better results.

Speed skater Håvard Bøkko was among those upset by his poor performance, as was his sister Hege. She and Mari Hemmer and Ida Njåtun were beaten by three seconds in Friday’s quarter finals and had to defend a lowly seventh place overall. Håvard Bøkko, meanwhile, was also a beaten man and cried after ending in sixth place in the 1500-meter race, the latest event in which he performed poorly.

Koss said both the sports chief and head coach should be replaced. He stressed that he had no desire to take over either position, “so I have no personal interest in this.” staff



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