Irene Schouten Sets Olympic Speed Skating Record

By Jennifer Roback

Photo Credit: Irene Schouten

For the past 20 years, Germany's Claudia Pechstein has held the record in the women’s 3,000 meters speed skating event but at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the Netherland's Irene Schouten decided to change that.

On February 5, 2022, Schouten finished the 3,000 meter race with a time of 3 minutes, 56.93 seconds, beating Pechstein's previous record of 3 minutes, 57.70.

“I had a lot of pressure from not only the medalists but also from myself,” Schouten said following the race. “I made it, so I was really happy.”

While Pechstein's record may have been broken, she set another one at the 2022 games by becoming the oldest female athlete in Olympic history at 49.

“I am the only woman in the whole world to be at eight Olympic Winter Games,” Pechstein said. “The result of today was not so important. It was just to race and to be here. I am super proud.”

Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida took home the silver medal in 3:58.06 and Canada’s Isabelle Weidemann took bronze in 3:58.64.