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The victory podium where three Dutch men swept the 10,000 meter race was shown Wednesday. "For the fourth and last time," an announcer said, referencing previous speedskating event sweeps.
The Dutch also covered snowboarder Nicolien Sauerbreij's early elimination from the slalom. She won gold in 2010, so the showing was a disappointment. When an announcer said Sauerbreij had been dethroned, he was cut off by the former head of the Dutch Olympic Committee, Erica Terpstra.
"She wasn't dethroned," Terpstra snapped. "She didn't succeed this time. But of course she'll always remain an Olympic champion."
Speedskating was a happier topic. The heart of Wednesday's telecast, before a small studio audience in Sochi, was interviews with silver medalist Ireen Wust and bronze medalist Carien Kleibeuker in the women's 5,000 meter race. The Dutch also showed the 13th installment of an ongoing segment where twin speedskaters Michel and Ronald Mulder play a board game. Nearly half the telecast was spent on the sport.
Wust was asked whether speedskaters from other countries were starting to get intimidated by the mere fact that they were competing against Dutch athletes.
"I think," she said, "together we've all put a thick rubber stamp on this Olympics."
Associated Press writers Jim Armstrong in Tokyo; Lynn Berry in Moscow; Rob Gillies in Toronto; Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; and Malin Rising in Stockholm contributed to this report. David Bauder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dbauder . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder.