The Hague, Jan 3 (IANS) The Dutch team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi was officially unveiled during a presentation ceremony in Papendal. It’s the biggest for the Games with 41 members.
Chef de Mission Hendriks, a former national hockey coach, indicated the aim in Sochi was nine medals, one more than at the Games in Vancouver, reports Xinhua.
Four years ago the Netherlands grabbed four golds, one silver and three bronze medals. Skaters Mark Tuitert (1500 meters men), Ireen Wust (1500 meters women), Sven Kramer (5000 meters men) and snowboarder Nicolien Sauerbreij (parallel giant slalom) became Olympic champions.
“We are a team of 41 Olympic athletes,” said Hendriks. “This is more than ever in the Dutch history of the Winter Games, while we selected incredibly strict.”
Four years ago in Vancouver the squad consisted of 36 athletes.
“But the real test is yet to come,” added Hendriks. “Keep doing what you’re good at that, no last-minute changes. The Olympics are wonderful, very special, but hectic. There will be issues, also social issues. Just stay focused.”
The group consists of 20 speed skaters, traditionally the specialty of the Netherlands. The delegation of 41 athletes in total is not yet final and could be expanded with some snowboarders, biathletes or ski jumpers.