William Dutton, Qualicum Beach's Olympic connection, 14th in first race

William Dutton skated to a 14th place finish in the 500M long track speed skating final Monday morning at the Sochi Olympics in an event dominated by the Dutch.

Dutton, a member of the family that owns Pheasant Glen Golf Resort in Qualicum Beach, gets another chance at an Olympic medal on Wednesday morning when he skates in the 1,000M event (TSN, 5:55 a.m.).

On Monday, Dutton's combined time for his two races was 70.448 seconds, only 1.136 seconds behind the gold-medal-winning combined time of 69.312 posted by Michael Mulder of The Netherlands. Jan Smeekens and Ronald Mulder, both from The Netherlands, won silver and bronze, respectively. Dutton's father Craig has been sending The NEWS updates from Sochi, and he has nothing but good to say about the family's experience so far.

"The Russian people are absolutely in love with Canada and the Maple Leaf," Craig Dutton wrote in an e-mail to The NEWS. "A Maple Leaf pin and a Canada coat are golden in Sochi. We are overwhelmed by Russian hospitality and good will from the residents of Adler. The venues are stunning. The boardwalk along the Black Sea is beautiful. Dolphins frolic just off the beach every morning. The public transport is clean, on-time and efficient. In short, the Sochi Olympic experience is as much fun as was the great fun Canada and Canadians had in 2010. Oh yes, most of the Russians tell us, with a big smile on their face, that their hockey team will beat ours. Go Canada."

— NEWS Staff

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