Last-Place Speed Skater Channels Steven Bradbury, Wins Gold Medal After Everyone Else Falls Down

Here’s a familiar scene for Australian Winter Olympics fans.

Chaos struck the finals of the women’s short track speed skating 500m on Thursday when all but one competitor fell down 20 seconds into the race.

China’s Jianrou Li was the only skater to remain upright, which was enough for her to cruise to a gold medal.

The insanity of short track speed skating in one sequence…

Here’s the crash (via BBC):

Speed skating crash

Going into an early turn, Li was in last place:

Speedskating crash 1

Picture: BBC

As she tried to make a pass, Elise Christie of Great Britain tripped, and took out Italian skater Arianna Fontana as she fell:

Speedskating crash 2

Picture: BBC

South Korea’s Seunghi Park got clipped in the skate, and fell down herself:

Speedskating crash 3

Picture: BBC

Li passed everyone, and never looked back:

Speedskating crash 4

Picture: BBC

She was skating by herself, and won by a ridiculous margin of six seconds:

Speedskating win

Picture: BBC

It’s a weird way to win, but gold is gold:

Speed skater wins gold

Picture: BBC

Australian speed skater Steven Bradbury will testify to that, as he won his gold in Salt Lake City in exactly the same circumstances. Except in Bradbury’s case, it happened twice – three of his opponents fell in the semi-final, allowing him to make the final in his fourth Winter Olympics appearance.

Here’s the great moment from 2002:

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