An LGBTQ athlete has set a new Olympics record at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, becoming the first person to ever win gold medals at five separate Olympic Games.
Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst brought home her sixth gold medal after winning the Women’s 1,500-meter speed skating event on Monday.
Wüst previously won gold medals in four other Olympics — 2018, 2014, 2010, and 2006 — making her the first Olympic athlete to win an individual gold medal in five separate games.
“The first time is the easiest one to win,” Wüst said, per the New York Times. “Winning for the fifth time is the hardest.”
In addition to her six gold medals, Wüst has five silver medals and a bronze medal, giving her the third-highest medal haul of any Winter Olympian.
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The 35-year-old also set a new speed-skating Olympic record with her winning run, with a time of 1 minute 53.28 seconds.
While Wüst told the Times that age is “just a number,” she also announced her retirement from speed skating after the 2022 Winter Games.
“I’m 35, and I really want to have children, so at some point you have to quit,” she said, adding that she hopes to marry her girlfriend, Letitia de Jong, this summer.
Wüst is one of a record number of out LGBTQ athletes competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics, with at least 35 LGBTQ athletes competing openly in Beijing.
Brittany Bowe, the only openly LGBTQ woman athlete on Team USA, competed against Wüst in the 1,500m event, but finished tenth. Bowe had previously gained the honor of being the only openly LGBTQ athlete at the 2022 games to be chosen as a flag bearer.
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