Groves Wins Silver, Her Second Medal of the Games

Sunday seems to be a good day for Kristina Groves.

The speed skater from Ottawa won silver in the 1,500 metres yesterday afternoon, exactly one week after capturing bronze in the 3,000 metres.

Again she lit up the Richmond Oval and skated a race just 0.25 seconds off a gold medal won by Dutch skater Irene Wust. This is Groves’ third Olympic silver medal, her two previous coming in Turin four years ago in team pursuit and in this very race, the 1,500 metres.

The three-time Olympian is skating in five races at these Games. Still to come are the 5,000 metres and the team pursuit. Groves finished fourth earlier in the 1,000 metre race won by teammate Christine Nesbitt. (Nesbitt finished sixth in the 1,500 metres Sunday.)

Groves won Canada’s ninth medal of the Games, but according to her she did so despite not skating her technical best. “I am happy, but I really wanted to win,” she said. “It was really close. It was an awesome race.”

It is yet another excellent result for one of Canada’s most decorated speed skaters. Since 2005, Groves has carved a bundle of memorable moments across the world. In the past five years she was won 13 World Championship medals and four Olympic medals. She is a three-time world champion, in the pursuit (2007 and 2009) and the 3,000 metres (2008). With Nesbitt and Brittany Schussler, Groves still holds the world record in the pursuit event. (Catch that excitement next Saturday.)

Groves, 33, grabbed her first individual World Cup medal during the 2003-04 season. That gold medal set in motion a stellar career. In the last three seasons alone she has collected 29 World Cup medals.

In the race yesterday, six-time Olympic medallist Cindy Klassen finished 21st in the event. She said afterward that her power hadn’t yet returned since double knee surgery. But she was very happy for her teammate. “(Kristina) had an incredible race and I am so happy for her,” she said. “It was so close.”