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Heather Bergsma Ends Stellar Speedskating Season With 1,500 And Grand World Cup Titles

By Craig Bohnert | March 12, 2017, 12:56 p.m. (ET)

Heather Bergsma celebrates after winning the women's 1,000-meter at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval on Feb. 11, 2017 in Gangneung, South Korea.


Heather Bergsma closed out a dominant 2016-17 world cup season in stellar fashion Sunday in Stavanger, Norway, winning the 1,500-meter to lock up that event’s season title as well as her third Grand World Cup crown in four years.

The two-time Olympian took her third 1,500-meter gold of the season with a time of 1:54.92 to beat Japan’s Miho Takagi by 0.58 seconds. Martina Sablikova claimed bronze, 1.70 seconds back, while Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands was fourth, clocking in at 1:56.63.

The fourth-place finish matched Leenstra’s worst showing of the season and opened the door for Bergsma to take the season title. Racing Leenstra head-to-head as the final pair on the ice, Bergsma earned 150 points for her victory to push her season total to 480, 20 more than the Dutch skater.

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By taking the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter season titles, Bergsma kept both in Team USA’s possession, replicating teammate Brittany Bowe’s double last season. Only one other women’s skater, Canada’s Christine Nesbitt in 2012, has achieved the 1,000/1,500 season double. With the addition of her first 1,500-meter title, Bergsma joins the legendary Bonnie Blair as the only two women to earn season crowns in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter in their careers.

Bergsma concludes the 2016-17 season with nine golds, a silver and two bronzes for a total of 12 podiums on the world cup stage. Although the dozen podiums is the least she has gained since the 2012-13 season, her nine gold medals are a single-season best. She now has won 33 world cup gold medals and reached the podium 82 times.

This season, she also earned world titles at 1,000 and 1,500 meters, as well as bronze in the mass start at world single distances championships. Bergsma also won silver at world sprint championships for her fifth straight medal at that event.

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Heather Bergsma

Long Track Speedskating