The NBC-Ready Story Behind That Speed Skating Double Bird Photo

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Between the NHL's line brawls and hallway fights and the NFL's Richard Sherman non-troversy, sports pundits had enough to talk about Monday morning. But the photo of a speed skater giving a victorious rival the double-bird is what should really be the top sports of the day.

Now that is how you let a fellow competitor know how you really feel. But what's really going on between these two? The Internet needs to know.

HyperVocal filled in some details. The Independent had the rest. The photo was taken by Getty photographer Robert Michael at the Short Track European Championships where Russia’s Viktor Ahn had defeated the Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt in the men’s 5000m team relay. The race was not close, and Knegt decided to unleash the birds at his opponent and even do a fancy little kick in his direction, as you can see in the video. Knegt was promptly disqualified for his unacceptable behavior. The European Championships are the last big tune-up race before the Winter Olympics.  

In case you're wondering, yes, the two will compete against each other in Sochi, so get ready for the grudge match of.

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Ahn is an interesting villain on and off the ice. He's a legendary speed-skater who used to compete for South Korea. From The New York Times' report on NBC's research team

The researchers are enamored of stories that, when they come upon them, are not in the mainstream. Like the South Korean-born speed skater Viktor Ahn, who, as Ahn Hyun-Soo, won three gold medals at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy.

“He got elbowed off the highly competitive South Korean team and was looking for another country,” said Alex Goldberger, one of the researchers. “Russia welcomed him and, voilà, he’s Viktor Ahn. He’s no longer the absolute force he used to be, but he’s a legend in the sport and potentially could win Russia’s first short-track gold.”

You will surely hear more about Ahn on February 7 when the Olympics begin.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.