Claudia Pechstein makes history
German speed skater Claudia Pechstein made Olympic history twice when she competed in the women’s 3000m, but the new world’s oldest Winter Olympian also took a step down in another part of the record book.
Pechstein, who is set for her 50th birthday on Feb. 22, is now the second athlete and only woman to compete in eight Winter Games.
But she also watched as her 20-year-old Olympic record was overcome by a Dutch skater.
Irene Schouten of the Netherlands won the first gold medal in speed skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics with a 3:56.93 time in the women’s 3000m, an Olympic record.
The previous women’s Winter Olympic age record was held by U.S. Virgin Islands luger Anne Abernathy, who was 48 at her fifth Olympics in 2002.
Who else is warding off traditional time considerations in Beijing? And who is starting their journey at a young, young age? Read on…
Oldest athletes at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Japan’s Hanae Kubo is the oldest hockey player in Beijing at 39 years old. The Seibu Princess Rabbits veteran is a four-time medalist at the Asian Winter Games. On the men’s side, Andreas Ambuhl of Switzerland is the oldest competitor. The 38-year-old has 132 senior national team games under his belt and most recently played pro for HC Davos.
Claudia and Torger have a lot of work to do if they plan on becoming the oldest ever Olympian, as Norwegian curler Carl August Ringvold was 58 years old when he sailed in his second-straight Olympic games.
Youngest athletes at the 2022 Winter Olympics
These athletes are young, but still nothing compared to the unthinkable age of the youngest competitor in history.
Cecilia Colledge was 11 years old when she competed for Britain in figure skating at the 1932 Olympics. Incredibly, she won her first senior title — word choice dripping with humor — a few years later in 1935.
Kamila Valieva is a very familiar name despite her very tender age. The 15-year-old Russian figure skater is a real threat to dominate the headlines, but isn’t much younger than Team USA’s youngest athlete: 16-year-old figure skater Alysa Liu. Team’s USA’s youngest male? 17-year-old speed skater Jordan Stolz.
And 18-year-old skier Eileen Gu is a compelling story for a number of reasons, not the least of which being her status as a Chinese athlete from the United States. Alpine skier Matej Svancer is just 17.
Sanni Vanhanen of the Finland women’s hockey team doesn’t turn 17 until July 1. The Tappara U-16 played boys hockey as recently as the 2017-18 season and is about a year-and-a-half older than the youngest men’s competitors: Simon Nemec of Slovakia.