The Olympics haven’t started yet but the Netherlands has won gold already, albeit one that dates back to 1900, the Volkskrant writes on Monday.
New research and changes to the rules mean gold can now be rightfully claimed by Dutch rowers at the French Olympic Games 112 years ago.
In those days, teams of mixed nationalities were allowed so when cox Hermanus Brockman dropped out at the last minute, his place was taken by a ten-year old French boy. The two Dutch rowers went on to win the race but because the team was mixed, they were not able to claim the prize for the Netherlands.
It has been a controversial question for years but the rules have changed and, according to sports data provider Infrostrada, which acts as adviser to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in these matters, Dutch rowers François Brandt, Hermanus Brockman and Roelof Klein are now entitled to the prize more than a century later.
100 or 101
This also means that the hundredth gold medal for the Netherlands wasn’t won by snowboarder Nicolien Sauerbreij in Vancouver two years ago but by speed skater Ireen Wüst. Sauerbreij’s medal would now be number 101.
The IOC has not yet received official confirmation of the new gold but has let it be known that Sauerbreij won’t have to give up her accolade.
‘There were no gold medals in 1900. That’s why we won’t put Brandt, Brockman and Klein in this category. Let’s go to London and win some more and then this whole 100 or 101 controversy will go away’, the paper quotes IOC spokesman Geert Slot as saying.