Speed skating

Hedrick Settles for Silver in 10,000 Meters

Former Inline Skater Ends Games With Three Medals

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Dutch skater Bob de Jong put on an impressive performance on the slow Torino ice today to win the 10,000 meters, the final speed skating event of the Torino Winter Games.

Chad Hedrick, racing in a later heat, skated at a sub-world record pace in the early going but faded halfway through the race to take the silver.

He finished 3.85 seconds behind Jong.

Photo of Chad Hedrick at the end of 10,000 meters in Torino.

De Jong's time (13:01:57) was more than six seconds slower than Hedrick's world record.

The silver gave Hedrick, a former inline world champion, his third medal of the Torino Olympics. He won the gold medal in the 5000 meters and bronze in the 1500.

Hedrick fell short of his Olympic goal, which was to tie Eric Heiden's 20-year-old mark of five golds. But he did manage to become only the third U.S. athlete to ever win three medals in a winter games.

"I'm very happy with my accomplishments,'' Hedrick said. "At the same time, I feel like I left a lot of medals out there. I didn't skate perfect.''

The Torino Games proved a challenge for the 28-year-old Texan both on and off the ice.

He began the games as the U.S. golden boy. But he tarnished his image by becoming involved in a high-profile feud with teammate Shani Davis, who unceremoniously pulled out of the team pursuit event, hurting the U.S. chances.

Hedrick announced after today's race that he planned to return for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

"I haven't accomplished all my goals,'' he said. "I won't quit until I get there.''

But Hedrick's goals aren't restricted to ice skating.

Before the games, he said that he would like to do something for the sport that gave him his start: inline speed skating.

And during the games, as he reveled in his new found celebrity, he talked about moving to Hollywood and becoming an actor.

(posted on Feb. 24, 2006)

Related reading

Inline to Ice Olympic Coverage


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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