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Triple Olympic speed skating champion Schouten to retire

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-20 13:46
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Gold medallist Netherlands' Irene Schouten celebrates on the podium for the women's speed skating 3000m victory ceremony during the 2022 Winter Olympics at the Beijing Medals Plaza in Beijing on February 6, 2022. [Photo/IC]

THE HAGUE - Dutch speed skater Irene Schouten, who won three gold medals at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, on Monday announced an end to her career.

"My top sports career ends, it's over," she told Dutch national broadcaster NOS. "I am ready for a new phase in my life. After 15 years of top sport, I want different things. I don't dream of another Olympics."

The 31-year-old won the 3,000m, 5,000m, and mass start at Beijing 2022 and set Olympic records in both the 3,000m and 5,000m. She also took a bronze medal in the team pursuit in Beijing and another bronze in the mass start at PyeongChang 2018.

Last weekend, during the World Single Distances Championships in Calgary, Canada, Schouten added three gold medals in the 3,000m, mass start and team pursuit, and a silver in the 5,000m. In 2022, she became World Champion all-round.

It is not clear whether Schouten skated her last meters as a top athlete in Calgary. Later this week, she will decide if she will compete in next weekend's Dutch All-round Championships in Heerenveen, where she could earn a place at the World All-round Championships in Inzell, Germany from March 8 to 10.

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