Sven Kramer set three Olympic records after winning the 5000m with a time of 6:09.76. In additon to breaking the 5000m Olympic record, Kramer is the first man to win eight Olympic speed skating medals and the only to win Olympic gold in the same event three times.
"It's amazing. Every four years I still have progression, and that's nice to see," Kramer said following the race. "I've won a lot and lost a lot, but this is really special for me."
Next up for Kramer is the 10,000m on Thursday, Feb. 15. Gold in the 10,000m has elluded Kramer who has earned silver in the event consectuive Games. Kramer is also scheduled to compete in the team pursuit and mass start in PyeongChang.
"Kramer has got a couple of other races and hopefully we can knock him off on one of them," speed skater Peter Michael (NZE) said after the race.
Following Kramer on the podium were 5000m world record holder Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN) and Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR). Bloemen and Pedersen had to be seperated by a photo finish after finishing a two one-thousdanths of a second apart after 5000m.
"It was a little pity that he beat me by I don't know how many thousandths, but at the end I'm very happy for the medal," Pedersen said to the media.
It has been a long road to PyeongChang for Bloemen. The Dutch-born Canadian skater moved to Canada after missing out on selection for the Sochi Games.
"Obviously I'd rather have won this race but, after all, being on the podium at the Olympics is amazing, and I think I'll be really proud in a little bit of time," Bloemen said in a post-race press conference.
Emery Lehman was the lone American entry in the event. Lehman did not have his best performance finishing in 6:31.16, good for 21st. Lehman lamented the effect his nerves had on his performance, but the 21-year old also showed optimism in improving his performance in future Games. Lehman was initially scheduled to only compete in the team pursuit, but earned a spot in the 5000m once quotas were reallocated.
"I was slower than I was happy with. If I look at the tape after the race, I will see I could have shaved off a bit of time in each lap," Lehman said to the media. "The individual race was a goal but if one of my races had to be bad then definitely it would have to be the 5000m."