Speed skater Wuest is first athlete to win individual gold at five Olympics

Speed skater Ireen Wuest at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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What’s the record for most records broken in a speed skating race? Dutch skater Ireen Wüst – also spelled Wuest – tried to answer that question on day three of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Competing in her fifth Games in Beijing, Wuest won gold in the women’s 1500m, her time of 1:53.28 breaking the Olympic record set by fellow Dutch skater Jorien ter Mors in 2014. It is Wuest’s 12th career Olympic medal and sixth gold.

“There’s something magical that gets to me when it comes down to the Games,” Wuest said. “There’s something at the Games that brings out the best in me.”

Japan’s Miho Takagi claimed her second straight silver medal in the distance, while the Netherlands’ Antoinette de Jong won bronze.

“In four years, she’s going to win the 1500,” Wuest said of Miho’s back-to-back silver medals.

With the victory, Wuest became the first person to win at least one individual gold medal at five Olympics.

To be clear, we’re talking any athlete. From any country. In any sport. Summer or winter. Even Michael Phelps – the most decorated Olympian in history – never did that.

But wait! There’s more!

At 35 years, 312 days old, Wuest became the oldest gold medalist in any Olympic speed skating event. The previous record – 35 years and 99 days – was set by Germany’s Daniela Anschutz-Thoms in 2010.

“Age is just a number,” Wuest laughed. “I’m not thinking, ‘I’m 35, I’m too old,’ hell no.”

Already the most decorated speed skater in Olympic history entering Beijing, she is now tied for most Olympic speed skating titles (6) with Lidiya Skoblikova, who represented the Soviet Union from 1960 until 1968.

Wuest also moved herself up to third on the list of most decorated winter Olympians and is now tied with Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie. Only biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (13 medals) and cross-country skier Marit Bjorgen (15 medals) own more.

“She’s the greatest of all time,” said American Brittany Bowe, who placed 10th.

And she’s not done yet. While Wuest plans to retire after the 2022 Winter Olympics, she is expected to contend for medals in two more events before the Games conclude.

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

NBC Sports’ Nick Zaccardi and the NBC Olympics research team contributed to this report.