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Joel H

Ice Skating Shoe

By Miskan

Steven Bradbury’s 2002 Gold Medal Win

Click on the link below and listen to Joel’s podcast as you read along!

It was at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City when Steven Bradbury made Australian history. His determination and resilience earned him a gold medal in Speed Skating. However, his win sparked controversy. Some said that it was a cheap win and he didn’t deserve it. This is why! 
Steve Bradbury won his first heat at Salt Lake convincingly. However it appeared that his gold medal hopes would end because he was competing against Apolo Anton Ohno, the favourite, and Marc Gagnon, the defending world champion. Only the top two in this race went through to the semi-final. Bradbury finished third in his race and thought that his run was over, but later he found out that Gagnon had been disqualified for obstructing another racer. That meant that Steve had made it through to the Semi-final. 
After his second race Bradbury talked with the Australian speed skating coach about his new tactics. They both decided that because he was the slowest in the race, he would hang behind the pack and wait for them to fall. That was when he would make his move. 
In the Semi-final he was well behind the other competitors, but three of the racers crashed. Steve finished the race in 2nd place and this meant that he had cemented a spot in the final. 
There were 5 competitors in the final, Steven Bradbury, Apolo Anton Ohno, Ahn Hyun-Soo, Li Jiajun and Mathieu Turcotte. Again he was going to hang behind the other racers and hope that they would lose their balance. Steve was 15 meters behind on the final lap. It looked like he would have no chance of winning. But on the last corner Steve’s opponents were in a tight pack. They were jostling for the gold medal when one of them fell. It was like dominoes! One after the other the other four racers fell, with only 50 meters to go. This opened the door for Bradbury. As Steve sped across the ice someone made a feeble attempt to cross the line, but this was all too late. Steve crossed the finish line with his arms raised; Steven Bradbury had won gold at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Australian Flag

By BeckyEtal

When interviewed after the race Steve said “I was the oldest bloke on the field and I knew that, skating 4 races back to back, I wasn’t going to have any petrol left in the tank. So there was no point getting up there and mixing it up because I was going to come in last place anyway. So (I figured) I might as well stay out of the way in last place and hope that some of them would get tangled up.” (Wikipedia, 14/10/09) 
It is now a part of the Australian Language, to say “You did a Bradbury,” meaning a fluky win. It just goes to show that no matter how old how smart or how fast you are, you can always win. Australians value sport so much that every gold medallist will be remembered, especially Steven Bradbury.

Winter Olympic Rings by Sherlock77 (James)

By Sherlock77 (James)


2 Responses

  1. Hi there Joel, what a fantastic job you have done with your historical recount! I remember watching Steven Bradbury’s win on tv, and I think you’ve done really well to describe in detail what happened in the race. Well done!

  2. Hi Joel,

    That was a very interesting recount. I really enjoyed it because it was a good length and a topic I hadn’t heard of before. I think that it was pretty funny that he won even though he was at the back on the last lap. Although the others crashed, I think he still deserved the medal because crashes happens just as much in cycling or other sports.

    Helen 🙂

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