Sven Kramer: goal machine and wheel runt chooses skates

Skating, cycling and soccer; Sven Kramer was a fanatic athlete when he was young, but eventually had to make a choice. “I did have some regrets that I didn’t choose cycling,” Kramer acknowledged in 2018 in an interview with Wielerrevue.

But the decision to opt for skating has earned him four gold, two silver and three bronze olympic medals.

In the election of the best Olympian of all time, Kramer finished in sixth place with that achievement.

Both the cycling and the skating Kramer has been poured with the ladle. Father Yep combined the existence as a top skater with cycling competitions.

Young Kramer had to wait until he was fourteen before he was allowed to ride his first race. His parents thought it was too dangerous for that time. When he finally got permission, Kramer hit the head in his first race.

father Yep, Sven went to play soccer and on the soccer field he turned out to be very fanatic.

“He was a driven little man. And the will to win was very great, just as we see now in skating”, said Sjoerd Hoekstra, Kramer’s youth coach in the nineties.

Dreaming the double

The choice for skating turned out not to be a bad one indeed. At the age of 19 Kramer won his first Olympic medal at the Games in Turin (2006). On the 5.000 meters only the American Chad Hedrick was faster.

Four years later, on February 13, 2010, Kramer won his first Olympic gold medal in the 5 kilometers. In Vancouver he en passant also improved the eight year old Olympic record of Jochem Uytdehaage.

In 2014 and 2018 Kramer managed to prolong his Olympic title in the 5,000 meters. Only rider Anky van Grunsven managed to win gold on behalf of the Netherlands on three consecutive Olympics at the same event.

Kramer is still waiting for the coveted gold medal in the 10,000 metres, because in 2014 he had to acknowledge his superior in compatriot Jorrit Bergsma and in 2018 Ted-Jan Bloemen took off with the gold.

The will to pursue this dream in 2022 is certainly there at Kramer, despite the physical problems of recent years. This year, the 32-year-old skater extended his contract with the Jumbo-Visma skating team until the Beijing Games.