On Monday, Heerenveen athlete Ireen Wüst won a gold medal in the 1500 metres speedskating event at the Beijing Games, establishing a new Olympic record and making history in more ways than one.
The only athlete ever to win an individual gold at five consecutive Olympics, either winter or summer edition, she’s now being hailed as the greatest Olympian of all time. Wüst started her Olympic career with a 3000 metres win in Turin in 2006, followed by more first placements in Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, and Pyeongchang 2018.
The Frisian phenomenon now also holds the record as the youngest Dutch Olympic gold medallist ever (she was 19 when she won in Turin) and the oldest speed skating gold medalist in the history of the Winter Games (she is now 35).
In her illustrious career, Wüst has won a total of six gold medals and 12 other medals. She has still time to add to her impressive collection of successes since she will also compete on Saturday 12th in the team’s pursuit event and on the 17th in the 1000 metres race.
Wüst is set to retire from competitions after Beijing, like fellow Frisian legend Sven Kramer, who is having a tougher time at the Games.
In his signature competition, the 5000 metres, Kramer fell four laps before the end, killing his chances for a last individual Olympic gold. He will have one last attempt to snatch a gold medal – his fifth in the Olympics – in the team pursuit event on Sunday.
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