This might sound strange, but I don’t think the US Women’s short-track 3,000-meter relay team should have won Bronze. Stranger yet, I think they should hand the medals over the South Korean team. You might be asking why, so let me tell you.
The Chinese and South Korean teams were trading positions for first and second place for much of the race, with the Canadian team in third and the US team trailing half a lap behind. In fact, the US team never advanced from the fourth position during the race, and ended more than five seconds behind the Canadian team at the end of the race. With such a terrible performance, it required a miracle for them to earn a medal.
A miracle is what they received. With just a few laps left to go, the Chinese and South Korean teams reached the push-off point at the same time, with both skaters racing to the turn side-by-side. The Chinese team took the outside position and banked at the same time as the South Koreans. It was then that there was contact.
With the two ladies being so close and side-by-side heading into the turn, the Chinese racer clipped her skate against the South Koreans, as the South Korean skater took over the lead. The Chinese skater easily regained her footing, though it dropped her a fraction of a second behind the South Korean. This brief contact ensured the South Korean victory. After a few minutes of review, the judge ruled that the South Korean skater was in error, and disqualified the team.
I cry foul on this ruling. What was the South Korean skater suppose to do? Put on the breaks and let the Chinese skater pass? It was the Chinese skater that came from the outside position and cut in behind the South Korean, crossing her skate against her competitors. Not that there should have been a disqualification to begin with, but I would have faulted the Chinese team over the South Koreans.
Regardless of who was at fault, the US team performed so poorly, they should be feeling guilty about walking away with Bronze. While they worked so hard to enter the finals, and spent years in individual and team practicing to be their best, they were by far the weakest team on the ice. They should walk over the South Korean women and present them with the medals and be proud to do so.