Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst cemented her legacy as the most decorated LGBTQ Olympian of all-time by winning her sixth Winter Olympics gold medal in Monday’s Women’s 1500m final.
Her victory marked the first medal for Team LGBTQ at the Beijing Games and makes her the only athlete to win individual gold at five different Olympic Games.
The out skater topped the Women’s 1500m field in dramatic fashion, barely edging out world record holder Miho Takagi of Japan by less than half a second.
Wüst’s time of 1:53.28 set an Olympic record as she became the oldest speedskater ever to win Olympic gold.
“There’s something magical that gets to me when it comes down to the Games,” she said after the win. “A lot of emotions, especially the good ones. I don’t realize it yet. It’s insane, actually.”
Wüst’s medal collection dates back to the 2006 Olympics in Turin, where she secured her first gold medal at the age of 19. Now 35, Wüst has maintained her intention to retire after competing in Beijing, but she clearly hasn’t missed a step.
“Age is just a number. It’s just about how you feel. I’m not thinking like, ‘I’m 35, I’m too old,’ hell no,” Wüst told NPR. “It’s one of the best 1500m races she ever skated, and again she does it when it really counts,” her coach, Gerard van Velde added. “That’s a gift, and that’s why she’s the greatest Olympian in the Netherlands.”
Out American skater Brittany Bowe finished in 10th place.