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Speed ​​skating Wust, most decorated Dutch Olympian, demands time for his career

ISU World Cup Speed ​​Skating Series
FILE PHOTO: Speed ​​Skating – ISU World Cup Speed ​​Skating Series – Heerenveen, Netherlands – March 12, 2022 Netherlands’ Ireen Wust reacts after competing in the women’s 1500m REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

March 13, 2022

(Reuters) – Dutch speed skater Ireen Wust, who last month became the first Olympian to win gold at five different editions of the Winter Games, ended her career on Saturday in front of her home crowd at a World Cup event in Heerenveen.

The 35-year-old is the most decorated Olympic champion in the Netherlands, having won 13 Olympic medals in his 16-year career, more than any other speed skater.

“Even before I skated, I got a standing ovation,” said Wust after his fourth place in the race. “Everyone cheered me on, it made me very emotional.

“It wasn’t my best 1,500 meters, but I enjoyed every second of it. I enjoyed Beijing, but you (the viewers) miss that, we missed it for two years. The sound, it was amazing.”

At the Beijing Winter Games, Wust retained her 1,500m title with an Olympic record time of 1:53.28 before winning bronze with the Dutch team in the women’s team pursuit.

Since making her Olympic debut in Turin in 2006, where she won gold in the 3,000m at the age of 19, Wust has won 11 medals in four previous games.

The event also celebrated three-time Olympic champion Sven Kramer running his last Olympic 5,000m event in Beijing, an event he once dominated with three straight gold medals in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

“What I’m going to miss the most is preparing for the really important moments, when you know it has to happen and there’s no excuse,” Kramer said. “That drive is not found anywhere else in life. But I’ll find out how things will be different.”

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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