Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 11

10,000m winner Jorrit Bergsma boycotts Dutch team pursuit squad


Controversy has finally found the most dominant speedskating team at the Sochi Olympics.

Saying that he feels excluded after being assigned as a substitute for the Dutch in today’s team pursuit finals, Jorrit Bergsma – who set an new Olympic record on the way to 10,000m gold earlier this week – has boycotted the pursuit team.

According to the Associated Press, Bergsma told Netherlands-based TV network NOS that he was counted on “only in emergencies” while teammates Sven Kramer, Koen Verweij, and Jan Blokhuijsen combined to make their way into the finals in dominating fashion.

MORE: South Korea lodges protest of Sotnikova’s win over Kim

Yesterday, the Kramer/Verweij/Blokhuijsen triumvirate won their quarterfinal heat over France by almost nine seconds, and then won their semifinal over Poland by over 11 seconds.

Today, they’ll match up against Korea in the A Final.

As for the impact of Bergsma’s boycott, it’s pretty much next to zero unless Kramer, Verweij or Blokhuijsen go down with an injury before today’s races, which go off at 8:30 a.m. ET.

CLICK HERE AT 8:30 A.M. ET to watch it on NBCOlympics.com.

Pyeongchang 2018 video looks at Olympic venues, slogan

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Pyeongchang Olympic organizers published a promotional video Friday highlighting the South Korean host’s venues and its slogan, “Passion. Connected.”

The video highlights South Korea’s history of hosting major sports events — the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, the 2002 FIFA World Cup across Japan and South Korea and the 2011 World Track and Field Championships in Daegu — which was also a point during its host city candidacy several years ago.

Pyeongchang finally earned the right to host the Olympics after finishing second in voting for the 2010 Winter Games (losing by three votes) and the 2014 Winter Games (losing by four votes).

The Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9, 2018, will mark the first Winter Games in East Asia in 20 years.

The slogan was announced on May 16, 2015.

MORE: Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic news

Australia gold medalist swimmer gets mole removed after heads-up from fan

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06:  Mack Horton of Australia celebrates winning gold in the Final of the Men's 400m Freestyle on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Mack Horton, the Olympic 400m freestyle champion, said he had a mole on his chest removed after a fan emailed his Australian swim team doctor alerting to get it checked out.

Horton said he believed the concerned fan may have been a skin specialist, according to the (Melbourne) Herald Sun.

“I’ve been watching this mole for a little while, Mack should probably go and get it checked out,” Horton said the fan said in an email to the doctor, according to the report. “They just looked at it [Thursday] and said let’s take it out now.

“They checked my whole body and then looked at this one and said we’d rather do it sooner rather than later.”

Horton joked on Australian TV that he probably owes the fan a free swim lesson.

“Sometimes I was blasé and sometimes I’d see it in the mirror and say, ‘I probably should get this one checked out,’ because I had noticed it had been changing a little bit, but I guess this person calling me out on it made me finally go and do it, which was a good thing,” Horton said, according to the newspaper.

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