Winter Games Athletes
Regardless if Groothuis medals or not in his third Olympics, he's earned a significant measure of success just by making it to Sochi. At Turin, he finished eighth in the 1,000 meters with a time of 1:09.57 and improved to 1:09.45 in Vancouver, good for fourth. He also competed in the 1,500 four years ago, finishing 16th with a time of 1:48.03. Yet those accomplishments hardly tell his complete story. After falling just short of the podium in Vancouver, Groothuis battled depression and even contemplated suicide in 2011. However, he's been able to press on with the help of a psychiatrist and has made significant strides on the ice. Groothuis won national and world single-distance championships in the 1,000 in 2012 and, that same year, his point total of 136.81 broke a world record at the world sprint speedskating championships. That strong season should have been a springboard for more success in 2013, but injuries played a part in Groothuis placing eighth (1:09.83) last year in the 1,000 at the world single distance championships on the same Adler Arena oval he'll skate on in Sochi. Despite that result, the six-time Dutch sprint champion believes he's primed to challenge two-time Olympic gold-medalist Shani Davis of the United States in the 1,000 now that he's healthy.