Winter Olympics heartbreak as 53-year-old accountant misses out on speed skating team selection

 
Oliver Gill
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US Olympic Long Track Trials
Theron Sands would have the oldest ever speedskater to compete at the Olympics (Source: Getty)

A 53-year-old accountant has failed in his quest to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Speed skater Theron Sands was hoping to make the US squad and become one of the oldest Winter Olympians ever.

Despite taking 10,000-metre silver at the US Olympic trials in Milwaukee this week, Sands did not post a quick enough time to realise his dream and represent the star spangled banner at next month's winter sports showcase.

The US Olympic team did not have an automatic place in the 10,000-metre speed skating event and Sands' time – 14 minutes 35.37 seconds – was not quick enough.

The Olympic qualification time was 13:30.00 but anyone completing 5,000 metres in less than 6:25.00 would also qualify. Sands came 10th in the half-distance event at the same trials in a time of 7:05.17 earlier in the week.

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Sands holds the 50-55-year-old master's world record for the event, 13:57.62, which he set in March 2017.

“Being here, I’m a winner,” he said, according to the Chicago Tribune, after crossing the line and punching the air in celebration.

The oldest ever Winter Olympian is Carl August Kronlund, a Swedish curler who won a silver medal in 1924 at the age of 58. Sands would have been the oldest-ever speed skater, had he qualified, eclipsing 52-year-old Briton Albert Tebbit, who competed at the 1924 games.

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