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

Coming fresh off the most recent Olympic Games in Beijing, where she become the first Olympian ever to win a gold medal in an individual event in five different games. Ireen Wüst skated her last competition in front of a hometown crowd at a World Cup race in Heerenveen, NL.


“It wasn’t the best race but I enjoyed every moment,” the 35-year-old said, after finishing fourth in the 1500m. “I couldn’t have imagined a nicer farewell.”


At the same event, fellow speedskater, Sven Kramer was also honored for his accomplished career as both athletes crossed the finished line of their careers. Wüst shared a touching photo on Instagram of both expressing love and gratitude for all the support from family, friends and fans.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sven Kramer (@svenkramer)

Wüst was 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.”


Wüst has yet to share her plans for her retirement, but we are excited to follow the next step of her journey and thank her for being such a great role model for LGBTQ+ athletes everywhere.

Photo by M. Smelter via Wikimedia Commons