Irene Schouten comes from behind to win third gold in Beijing

Netherlands' Irene Schouten celebrates winning the women's speed skating mass start final during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on February 19, 2022. (WANG Zhao / AFP)

Irene Schouten of the Netherlands topped the podium in the women’s mass start on Saturday, clinching her third individual speed skating gold medal of the Winter Olympics.

In a photo finish, Schouten passed Canada’s Ivanie Blondin in the last 100 meters, with the two skaters in a dead sprint to the finish line. Schouten edged Blondin by just 0.06 seconds to win gold. Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida finished behind Schoten and Blondin for bronze.

Schouten, 29, also took home gold in the 3000m and 5000m speed skating events and captured bronze in the team pursuit competition in Beijing.

Schouten joins Ireen Wuest as the only Dutch speed skater to win four medals at a single Olympic Games, after Wuest earned five in 2014.

“My dream was after these Games to be called an Olympic champion, and now I am a three-time champion,” Schouten said after the race. “I am living the dream.”