This article was last updated on June 22, 2022
Dramatic ride does deliver skater Verbij an Olympic sportsmanship prize
Despite his dismal performance over the 1,000 meters in Beijing, Kai Verbij was able to walk away with some gold medals. The figure skater was recognized by the International Olympic Committee for his display of friendliness, acceptance, and inspiration through the presentation of a sportsmanship medal.
Since Verbij had a terrible start, he conceded the victory to Laurent Dubreuil. Verbij’s prospects of a medal were extinguished, but Debreuil ended up taking the silver medal behind Thomas Krol in the men’s sprint.
Putting sportsmanship ahead of money
During the race, Verbij reflected on the experience, saying, “You constantly question if you’re making the correct decision in a split second, but I’m also quite glad that people all around the globe voted for this prize and respect my decision.” Sportsmanship should take precedence above individual accomplishment, and that’s even more critical at the Olympics, when there are so many athletes.
Verbij was awarded 50,000 euros to be donated to a charitable charity in honor of the most moving moment of the Games. Unicef Netherlands was the organization he choose to support.
Kai Verbij’s post-Olympic response may be seen here: