Winter Olympics: Kramer’s gaffe makes wrong kind of memory
By JAIME ARON
AP Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Bode Miller made the kind of mistake that happens in skiing, especially for a risk-taker like him.
The gaffe made by Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer? Unbelievable.
Kramer went through the grueling 10,000-meter race in what would’ve been record time, but was disqualified for not switching lanes while coming out of a turn about two-thirds into the race.
Here’s the craziest part: Kramer actually made the switch but his coach missed it. Thinking his star was about to make an epic mistake, the coach animatedly motioned for Kramer to switch lanes. Kramer seemed to pause before deciding to follow orders.
Of all the kooky, costly mistakes made in popular North American sports, it’s hard to find anything that compares. Maybe if Vikings coach Bud Grant had been the one telling defensive end Jim Marshall what to do when he scooped up a fumble and ran to the wrong end zone — and if that had been in the Super Bowl.
That’s how off-the-charts this was.
Kramer certainly should’ve known better. This is a guy who’s won the last three world championships at 5,000 and 10,000 meters; holds the world record at both distances; and already won gold and set an Olympic record in the 5,000 at this Olympics.
“I’ve seen it once or twice in my career,” former speedskating champion Dan Jansen said on NBC, “but never with a top skater and certainly never in the Olympic Games.”
All Miller did was lose control and fail to finish his first run down the giant slalom course
He missed his chance for a record fourth Alpine medal at a single Winter Games. But he notched what could be called a Bode Slam: a gold, a silver, a bronze and a DNF (did not finish).