Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands, center, shows off her gold medal in the women’s 3,000-meter speedskating event at the Sochi Games. Photo by AP/Morry Gash.
With three medals in these games, including a gold, skater Ireen Wüst leads the roster not just of gay athletes at the Sochi Olympics, but all athletes.
Skier Daniela Iraschko-Stolz won a silver, making the medal count four for the seven openly gay women competing at the Olympics.
While all eyes are on the out athletes competing in a country that has recently made it more or less illegal to be publicly gay, Wüst set the tone by saying, “I’m there to skate very fast.” In essence, pay attention to my talent, not my orientation or gender.
Patricia Nell Warren has more on the LGBT stars of Sochi for OutSports:
Like Ireen Wüst, Daniela had little to say to the press about her sexuality before her event. Afterwards, with medal in hand, she responded to the media negativity on her positioning. This was her comment: “I hope for the future that the people now can see the sport as a chance to change something. That would be nice. Because everyone looks at Russia and its laws, and I think it’s a good idea to change something.”
Aussie snowboarder Brockhoff finished eighth overall in the snowboard cross finals. Netherlands speed skater Sanne van Kerkhof and her 3000m relay team were penalized in the semifinal and did not compete in the final.
Also a veteran Olympian (Vancouver), van Kerkhof is Ireen Wüst’s former girlfriend and a 3000m relay specialist. She was part of the 3000m relay team that won gold at the 2011 European Championships. This was the first European gold won by a Dutch women’s relay team since the event was introduced in 1997.