For the second time in these Sochi Olympics, the Netherlands have pulled off a sweep in speedskating.
Michel Mulder (pictured) earned the men’s 500m gold medal by one one-hundredth of a second over teammate Jan Smeekens, with Michel’s twin brother, Ronald, claiming the bronze (+0.15 seconds). 2010 Olympic champion Mo Tae-Bum finished off the podium in fourth (+0.38 of a second).
The first Olympic win for the Dutch in the men’s 500m comes two days after the men blitzed the 5000m event, with Sven Kramer, Jan Blokhuijsen, and Jorrit Bergsma taking first, second and third. Additionally, Ireen Wust contributed her own gold in the women’s 3000m yesterday.
MORE: NBCOlympics.com Slideshow of today’s men’s 500m speedskating event
In a precursor to his bid for Winter Olympic history later this week, U.S. speedskater Shani Davis got started in Sochi with a 24th-place finish.
That was enough to lead the American trio that competed in the event, with Tucker Fredricks and Mitchell Whitmore winding up 26th and 27th respectively.
Davis used the 500m to prepare himself for Wednesday’s 1000m, in which he’ll attempt to become the first American man to claim three Winter Olympic golds in the same individual event (snowboarder Shaun White has a chance to do the same one day before on Tuesday in the halfpipe competition).
MEN’S SPEED SKATING – 500m
1. Michel Mulder (NED), 69.31
2. Jan Smeekens (NED), 69.32
3. Ronald Mulder (NED), 69.46
24. Shani Davis (USA), 70.98
26. Tucker Fredricks (USA), 70.999
27. Mitchell Whitmore (USA), 71.06
Lindsey Vonn partied with fellow Under Armour sports stars Tom Brady and Jordan Spieth as well as rapper Vanilla Ice on Wednesday.
The company held its 20th anniversary party in Baltimore, where it’s based.
Vonn is living it up in her offseason following another knee injury but is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season this fall.
MORE: Vonn details ‘excruciating pain’ from season-ending crash
Australian golfer Marc Leishman will miss the Rio Olympics due to his wife’s health.
“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” Leishman said in a statement. “Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 percent recovery of her immune system.
“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.
“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.
“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.”
Leishman, 32 with one PGA Tour win, joined the projected Olympic field when countryman Adam Scott said last month that he would skip Rio.
World No. 1 Jason Day is assured one of two Olympic spots for Australian men when the 60-man field is determined based on July 11 world rankings.
With No. 7 Scott and No. 35 Leishman out, the next-best Aussie is No. 63 Marcus Fraser.
Three more major champions — Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — also said in April they would not compete in Rio.
Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
MORE: Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott