Ted-Jan Bloemen won Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 10,000 metres in long-track speedskating Thursday.
The 31-year-old, who moved from the Netherlands to Calgary four years ago to compete for Canada, won in Olympic-record time of twelve minutes, 39.11 seconds.
Bloemen said, “I had a dream,And I always felt from deep inside that I was able to do something special on the ice, but I was never able to show it. I had to find a different way to do it because I found I hit a wall in my career.”
“I found that different way and got way more than I ever would have hoped.”
The only Canadian to win a medal in the 10k before Thursday was a bronze by Frank Stack in 1932.
Bloemen claimed his second medal of the games after taking silver behind Dutch star Sven Kramer in the 5,000 metres Tuesday.
“It’s really hard to put that moment into words,” Bloemen said. “It’s more feelings and emotion that run through your body and your mind at that point.
“Imagine that feeling. It’s really, really, incredible. It’s just a really slow realization that you’re becoming Olympic champion.”
Bloemen flung his arms in the air with joy after crossing the line, knowing he’d put down a time that would be tough for Kramer to beat.