Speedskater Ireen Wust of the Netherlands attends a press conference during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Speedskater Ireen Wust of the Netherlands attends a press conference during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dutch speedskater Ireen Wust became the first openly gay athlete to win a medal at the Sochi Games, taking gold in the 3,000 meters on Sunday. But if you expected Wust to use her podium as a platform for gay rights, you obviously don't know her very well. The 27-year-old Wust, a Dutch superstar who also won gold in Vancouver and Turin, has never enjoyed talking about her sexuality in a public forum. The Associated Press recap of Sunday's event didn't even mention that Wust is gay.
“I want to talk about ice skating”, Wust said back in 2010. “You are not asking (fellow 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.”
Wust is only one of seven openly gay athletes competing in Sochi, but she more publicly identifies herself as Dutch while on the world stage. She painted her nails the colors of the Dutch flag and later talked about the challenges of having an entire country watch her compete.
''Seventeen million Dutch wanted me to win,'' Wust told reporters in Sochi. ''Now the extreme pressure is off and I can win more.''
Wust will also compete in the 1,500 and 1,000 meters in Sochi.
Check out the hero's welcome that Wust received at the Holland House in Sochi.
— Ireen Wüst (@Ireenw) February 9, 2014
- - - - - - -