Speed Skater Sven Kramer Disqualified From Gold Medal Due To Coach's Mistake

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 crossed the line with a big smile, believing he'd won. He obviously didn't notice that he had skated the final eight laps in the same lane as the other skater in his pair.

The only hint was seeing his girlfriend in the stands, her head buried in her hands.

When coach Gerard Kemkers broke the news, Kramer flung his glasses, then stomped the heel of his blade into the ice. Just like that, Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea had the gold and Kramer moved into Olympic infamy, like the U.S. shooter who blew a sure gold medal by shooting at the wrong target during the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"I expected to be on the podium but not for the gold," said Lee, who won silver in the 5,000.

Kramer sat alone on a bench while the three medalists celebrated. "It is pretty hard now," Kramer said.

Jonathan Kuck was the top American, finishing eighth.

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).

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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Feb 27, 2010 at 03:00 PM
    This just in.....they took the gold away and gave it to Obama.....apparently, he was going faster downhill than Sven Kramer could ever do......why Obama set the record for all sitting presidents....
  • by Jethro Bodine Location: New Bern on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:29 AM
    To Vance: Don't put down JAKE DELHOMME! He's one of the best endorsers for Bojangles Fried Chicken, ever! He's also a very nice guy. (Don't play catch with him though)
  • by Justice on Feb 24, 2010 at 01:55 PM
    Coach: My bad. Thats a terrible way to lose a race, Kramer should have not have second guessed himself and followed his coach. Coach, your attention to this race would have been more attentive if you had placed more value on it unless of course the outcome was what you expected.
  • by Vance on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    I will tell you a Kooky mistake.JAKE DELHOMME and JOHN FOXX!

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