Olympians honored in Hague ceremony; gold medalists Knighted
After a heartwarming reception in Assen Monday, upon their return from Sochi, the Olympic medalists were decorated in The Hague, Tuesday. Safe for Ireen Wüst and Sven Kramer, all the medalists were knighted to the Order of Oranje-Nassau. Wüst and Kramer, who had been knighted after winning medals in previous Olympics, received sculptures, named "Chapeau".
Koen Verweij, Michel Mulder, Jan Blokhuijsen, Jorrit Bergsma, Jorien ter Mors, Lotte van Beek, Stefan Groothuis, and Marrit Leenstra were all knighted by Minister Edith Schippers for their achievement in the Sochi winter Olympics. Coaches, Gerard Kemkers and Jac Orie, were also knighted, in view of their current and previous accomplishments. Both coaches produced gold medal winners in the past as well. Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed how proud he was of the athletes' accomplishments and praised the example the athletes set for the youth in demonstrating discipline and perseverance, and the sacrifices they brought to reach their goals. Wüst was overwhelmed by the support from the fans. 'When we were in Sochi we couldn't know how much people supported us. The warm reception is overwhelming,' said Wüst, who won 5 medal, the most of all the Dutch. 'It would be nice if all rounding was added to the Olympic program,' said Wüst, the current European and world champion all rounding.