By David “Dirk” Smith, M.Sc., SDL (He/Him)

 

The Dutch Speedskating Phenomenon was already the most successful Olympic Speedskater of all time. With 10 Olympic Medals in Speed Skating, including 5 Golds, 4 Silvers and 1 Bronze spanning from the 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games; she is The Netherlands’ most successful Olympian. She is also openly bisexual and the most successful LGBTQ+ Olympic Athlete of all time.

 

For 2022, she is continuing to add to that legacy. She is currently competing in Beijing for her 5th consecutive Olympics in speedskating where she just took home the gold medal in the 1500m. This year’s 1500m is her sixth gold medal overall, her current Olympic medal count,

 

  • 2006: Gold 3000m, bronze 1500m
  • 2010: Gold 1500m
  • 2014: Gold 3000m & team pursuit, silver 1000m & 1500m & 5000m
  • 2018: Gold 1500m, silver 3000m & team pursuit
  • 2022: Gold 1500m

 

Her 1500m race also set an Olympic Record coming in at 1:53.28 just ahead of Miho Takegi from Japan and fellow Dutch teammate Antoinette de Jong. When she saw her time, she ripped off her hood, threw up her arms and smiled brightly as she realized her accomplishment.

 

“An Olympic record on this track is amazing,” she said. “I was really fast. I was really proud of myself that I gave my best 1500 in the biggest moment.”

 

“I don’t know what it is,” she said. “I just see the rings and something magical happens.”

 

Wüst was already part of an elite group of Olympians, including Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis and Al Oerter, but this most recent accomplishment has set her apart from the rest. Yet, she hasn’t had a moment to let it all sink in.

 

“Of course, it means a lot, but I don’t realize it yet,” she said. “Ask me this question again in 10 days. I’m an emotional mess in my head.”

 

Wüst is one of 35 openly LGBTQ+ athletes competing at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. She casually came out as bisexual in October 2009 when she mentioned she was in a relationship with a woman. She later called out the media for the intense focus on her private life over her sport, stating…

 

“You are not asking [Dutch speedskater] 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.”

 

However, her sexual orientation hardly defines Wüst who focuses her life and efforts on speed skating and living life on her terms.

 

Photo by M. Smelter via Wikimedia Commons