This Olympic Cyclist Mistakenly Thought She’d Won Gold. Now She Actually Has.
The Dutch Olympic cyclist who mistakenly thought she’d clinched a gold medal on Sunday was only celebrating prematurely. Annemiek van Vleuten won her first gold medal Wednesday after breezing past her competition during a time trial. Only one racer, Swiss cyclist Marlen Reusser, placed within a minute of her. In an interview after her medal ceremony, van Vleuten said she tuned out of social media after Sunday’s incident, wanting to clear her mind from any distractions. “It was a new challenge to park the negativity that was around me. That was the challenge. It could have put me down,” she said, according to Cycling News. She said she was aware of her shortcomings but that shouldn’t diminish her win. “I always thought that you needed to be a freak to win a gold medal but I’m not a freak,” she said. “I can’t believe this medal is around my neck and it’s very special to be an Olympic champion.”