Speed skater Mo Tae-bum shocks himself with birthday gold

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By Larry Fine

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Mo Tae-bum received a surprise birthday present from Dutch fans before getting the gold medal for his shock victory in the men's 500 meters speedskating on Monday.

"Things that I can't really believe are happening," the unheralded 21-year-old told reporters through an interpreter. "To me it was very surprising.

"I absolutely did not expect this. I maybe dreamed of it and imagined it, but I never expected this would actually happen."

The stunning victory was greeted by a warm gesture from speed-skate loving Dutch fans who threw a gaudy helmet on to the ice.

Since the profile page in the Olympic system was virtually blank for Mo, he was asked to describe himself.

"I'm a person who loves dangerous stuff," he said. "I like taking thrills. I'm interested in cars, I'm interested in motorcycles. I'm interested in scary things and taking dares."

After daring to be great on the Olympic stage, Mo said more surprises could be in the offing.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)