Ireen Wüst

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Ireen Wüst
Ireen Wüst.jpg
Wüst in 2013
Personal information
Born (1986-04-01) 1 April 1986 (age 33)
Goirle, Netherlands
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight63 kg (139 lb)
WebsiteOfficial website
SportSpeed skating
Event(s)1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m
ClubIJsclub Tilburg
TVM Schaatsploeg
Turned pro2005

Ireen Wüst (Dutch pronunciation: [iˈreːn ʋyst]; born 1 April 1986) is a Dutch long track allround speed skater.

Wüst is the youngest Dutch Olympic champion in the history of the Winter Games. At the age of nineteen, on 12 February 2006, she won the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games 3000 metre event; four years later at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games she won the 1500 metre event; at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games she won two gold and three silver medals, making her the most decorated athlete at the Sochi Games.[1] Following her most recent victory in the 1500 metres at the 2018 Winter Olympics she has won a record eleven Olympic medals, more than any other speed skater, making her the most successful athlete of the Netherlands at the Olympics. She is also a six-time world allround champion, a thirteen-time world single distance champion, and a five-time European allround champion. In 2014, she was elected by Reuters as the Sportswoman of the World.

Skating career[edit]

Wüst debuted at the 2004 KNSB Dutch Single Distance Championships in November 2003 with ninth place in both the 500m and 1500m events. At the end of the season she won the silver medal in the world junior championships in Roseville, Minnesota, USA. The next season she qualified for the 2004–05 World Cup during the 2005 KNSB Dutch Single Distance Championships with fifth place in the 1000m and fourth place in the 1500m. With a third place at the 2005 KNSB Dutch Allround Championships she qualified for her first international senior tournament, the 2005 European Championships in Heerenveen. There she came fourth and secured herself a spot in the Dutch team for the 2005 World Allround Championships in Moscow, Russia, where she finished in fifth place. She then became World Junior Champion in Seinäjoki, Finland.

Season 2005–2006[edit]

Before the start of the season Wüst signed a deal with TVM and started training under the guidance of Gerard Kemkers. At the 2006 KNSB Dutch Single Distance Championships, which also served as the Olympic Trials, Wüst won the 1000m, 1500m and 3000m, which gave her a spot in the Dutch Olympic Team for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Before the Olympics she started in the 2006 European Championships in Hamar where she won the bronze medal behind Claudia Pechstein of Germany and team mate Renate Groenewold.

Olympic Games in Turin[edit]

At the 2006 Olympics her first distance was the 3000 metres[2] where Wüst beat Groenewold and Cindy Klassen of Canada and became the youngest olympic champion from the Netherlands in the history of the Winter Olympics. She missed out the podium in the 1000 metres finishing fourth. At her last event the 1500 metres she won a bronze medal behind Cindy Klassen and Kristina Groves of Canada. At her last event of the season the 2006 World Allround Championships, Wüst finished fourth after she had been ill a few days before the tournament.[3]

After the end of the season Wüst was elected as the best Dutch Sportswoman of the Year 2006.[4] She was also elected female skater of the year.

Season 2006–2007[edit]

Wüst started the season with two titles and one second place at the 2007 Dutch Distance Championships. She also won the 2007 Dutch Allround Championships. At the 2007 European Championships Wüst led the championships after 3 of 4 distances but was beaten by Martina Sáblíková. The next weekend she competed in the 2007 World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Hamar, again winning the silver medal. She became World Allround Champion during the 2007 World Allround Championships for the home crowd in Heerenveen. She won the 2006–07 World Cup in the 1500m after winning two of the six races, as well as the 1000m during the World Cup Final in Calgary. At the 2007 World Distance Championships she won a gold medal in the 1000m, breaking the national record, and another in the 1500m. With Renate Groenewold and Paulien van Deutekom she won silver in the team pursuit behind Canada.

Season 2007–2008[edit]

After a difficult start to the season Wüst won the European allround title in January 2008.[5] Her main competitor this year was Paulien van Deutekom. Wüst finished second behind van Deutekom during the World Allround Championships in Berlin. In Nagano during the 2008 World Distance Championships she won the gold medal in the team pursuit alongside Groenewold and Van Deutekom. Wüst won only one world race this season, the 1500m in Hamar.

2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver[edit]

At the 2010 Winter Olympics she won a gold medal in the 1500 metres.[6]

2014 Olympic Games in Sochi[edit]

At the 2014 Winter Olympics she won gold medals in the 3000 metres and in the team pursuit, and silver medals in the 1000m, 1500m and 5000m.[7][8]

2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang[edit]

At the 2018 Winter Olympics she won a gold medal in the 1500 metres and a silver medal in the 3000 metres. Her 1500m gold medal was her fourth consecutive medal at this distance at the Olympics, and this was the fourth Olympics in a row in which she won an individual gold medal, the first time this was achieved by a Winter Olympian.[9] She also became the second speed skater to win the Olympic 1500 metres twice (after Lidiya Skoblikova in 1960 and 1964), and the first Dutch athlete to win five gold medals and ten medals overall at the Olympics.[10] She also became the first speed skater, male or female, to win ten Olympic medals, and the first female Winter Olympian to win nine individual medals.

Personal records[edit]

Personal records
500m 38.44 9 February 2007 Thialf, Heerenveen
1000m 1:13.33 17 November 2013 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City ER
1500m 1:50.718 10 March 2019 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City ER
3000m 3:58.01 12 February 2011 Olympic Oval, Calgary
5000m 6:54.28 19 February 2014 Adler Arena Skating Center, Sochi
Team pursuit 2:56.02 17 November 2013 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City ER

She is currently in 3rd position in the adelskalender.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Wüst is openly bisexual.[12][13][14] She came out in 2009 in a magazine interview, when she revealed that she had been in a relationship with a woman since May of that year, whose identity was later revealed to be short track skater Sanne van Kerkhof.[15] Wüst later expressed dissatisfaction with what she saw as the media's excessive focus on her sexuality, telling one interviewer: "You are not asking Sven Kramer about how his relationship is going. So why would you ask me? If I would’ve had a relationship with a guy, you wouldn’t have asked me either".[16] In March 2017, Wüst confirmed she is in a relationship with fellow skater Letitia de Jong.[17]


  1. ^ "Ireen WÜST – Olympic Speed skating – Netherlands". 17 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Ireen Wust Biography". Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Wüst vierde halverwege WK allround" (in Dutch). Omroep Brabant. 18 March 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Bos en Wüst sporters van het jaar". 12 December 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Kramer and Wüst win at European Championships". The New York Times. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Results of the 2010 Olympic Games 1500 meters Women". Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  7. ^ Kevin Oklobzija (9 February 2014). "Ireen Wust wins 3,000; Olga Graf claims Russia's first Sochi medal". USA Today.
  8. ^ "Speedskating: Versatile Jorien ter Mors beats Ireen Wust, leads another Dutch sweep". The Washington Post. 16 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Dutch speed skating GOAT makes Michael Phelpsian Winter Olympics history". Yahoo! Sports. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Speed skating: Wust powers to 1,500m gold for record 10th medal". Reuters. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Adelskalendern". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Meet Your 2010 Lesbian Olympians". 12 February 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Ireen Wüst gelukkig met man". De Telegraaf. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  14. ^ Boris Dittrich (25 July 2013). "'Ook Ireen Wüst kan- als biseksueel – in Sochi in de cel terechtkomen'". De Volkskrant. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Schaatster Ireen Wüst uit de kast?" [Skater Ireen Wüst out of the closet?]. COC Nederland (in Dutch). 17 November 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Gay Dutch Speed Skater Ireen Wüst Isn't Happy Her Sexuality Became an Olympic Story". Queerty. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Samenwoonplannen voor Ireen Wüst en Letitia de Jong?". 10 February 2018.

External links[edit]