New Zealand has missed out on another Winter Olympics medal chance with two Kiwi speed skaters knocked out of the men’s 1500m.
Palmerston North’s Peter Michael was picked as one of New Zealand’s best hopes for a medal at the Games, however, his time around the circuit of one minute and 46 seconds gained him a humble 14th place.
All was not lost for the 28-year-old however, as his mullet hairstyle is said to have gone “viral” among the Winter Olympics village with other athletes and even caught the attention from offshore media.
DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS/GETTY IMAGES
In a Toronto Star review of fashion and hairstyles at the the games, Michael was given praise for his glorious locks.
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“If viewers are looking for long locks, they need look no further than speedskater Peter Michael, who just missed out on becoming the second New Zealander to win a medal at the Winter Olympics when he finished fourth in the 5000 metres.
“In his hooded uniform during competition, Michael’s style is hard to see. But after the event, he revealed a flow that would make Billy Ray Cyrus proud.”
So that’s it – Peter Michael from Palmy gets 4th in the 5000m speed skating at #PyeongChang2018 . Huge effort. Medal chances in the relay are looking good. His mullet is looking even better.
— James McOnie (@JamesMcOnie)
February 11, 2018
Keeping modest about the long doo in an interview after his race, Michael said it wasn’t a planned effort, but he was happy to be recognisable.
“It wasn’t planned, just it is what it is … I saw it on their biggest sporting page. The Canadian hockey players will be jealous.”
One commentator Tweeted about the Palmy local’s mullet after his 5000m race.
“I love watching the end of the #speedskating when the athletes undo their hoods and we get to see what they look like. I will say, I was mightily surprised to see that the New Zealand skater had a serious mullet.”
Both Michael and Kay weren’t dwelling on a failed 1500m attempt and so it would be back to the drawing board for their team pursuit event on Sunday which would include Michael, Kay and Shane Dobbin.
Michael has struggled to get off to a flying start in both the 5000m and 1500m events, but finished stronger than many of his opponents. He narrowly missed out on New Zealand’s second Winter Olympic medal on Sunday, finishing 2.46 seconds outside the podium in the 5000m event.
“The start was a little bit slower than expected, but the laps were quite alright, [it is] always like that on the1500.
“In the 1500 especially, there is a tiny bit there I can access. I guess I am a racer at the end of the day, so I do dig deep.”
The Netherlands claimed gold and silver with Kjeld Nuism (1.44) and Patrick Roest while South Korea’s Kim Min Seok grabbed bronze.
Michael said the team pursuit would be a strong event for him as the Kiwi team had good chemistry and communication on the ice.
Kay was left further down the ladder at 26th, with 1:47.81, but remained in good spirits.
“It was nice to get the first race under the belt especially here at the Olympics on the biggest stage. I wont lie it was a little bit nerve racking at the start, but just felt like another race when we got going.
“Don’t get wrapped up in the village and all the stuff going on around there, just do what we are here to do … I think it’s going to be who can do it on the day.”
Meanwhile, skeleton racer Rhys Thornbury finished third in his training heat on Tuesday.
Stuff will be live blogging the women’s slalom at 2.15pm on Wednesday.