Speed skating is more than a sport in the Netherlands. It’s a national obsession.
In Sochi 2014 the ‘Oranje’ won a whopping 24 medals in the long and short-track versions of the event. It was total domination.
Four years later and the Dutch dynasty looks set to continue.
As Carlijn Achtereekte, Ireen Wust and Antoinette de Jong lined up at the start of the women’s 3000m, there was almost a sense on inevitability in the air.
The trio didn’t disappoint and promptly secured a one, two, three finish with Achtereekte defeating defending Olympic and world champion Ireen Wust to take gold, while de Jong claimed the bronze.
It is quite right therefore, that Netherlands fans online are enjoying their fast start on the medal table.
— Auke1993 (@auke1993) February 10, 2018
Some of fans took it a stage further by suggesting with tongue in cheek that the competition could have been confused with a domestic event.
Why is the Dutch championship of speed skating broadcast in the middle of the Olympic Games ? #PyeongChang2018
— Nola Sports (@NolaRiceSports) February 10, 2018
But is there such a thing as too much domination? Even the Dutch don’t know why they are so fast on the ice.
It's day 1 and the Dutch are already dominating the Olympics ️🥇️⛸️🇳🇱
Will it be 2014 all over again? And why are we so good at this speed skating anyways?https://t.co/52Jg8HSdbp
— DutchReview (@Dutchreviewing) February 10, 2018
Whatever the reason is, other nations can only stand back and applaud.
This is badass: Netherlands swept podium in women’s 3000m speed skating event final, with Dutch skaters taking ALL 3 medals.
Carlijn Achtereekte finished 1st (1st ever gold & Olympic medal) pic.twitter.com/KINljrKj19
— Kristen Holmes (@KristenhCNN) February 10, 2018
But in the midst of all this online rejoicing, one observant supporter raises a valid point.
I don't get why ice hockey isn't more popular in the Netherlands. A lot of Dutch people like hockey, a lot like ice skating. So why not ice hockey? 🤔
— Horacetio♣️♥️ (@horacetio_tweet) February 10, 2018
But after it’s all said and done, perhaps there are only three real guarantees in life:
— Daniel Beswick (@DGBeswick1) February 10, 2018