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Yvonne van Gennip

Yvonne van Gennip
Calgary, 23 February 1988. XV Olympic Winter Games. Speed skating, women's 1500 m, Dutchwoman Yvonne VAN GENNIP, 1st, in action. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Powell

Other names: VAN GENNIP, Yvonne Maria

Born: 1 May 1964

Birthplace: Haarlem (Netherlands)

Nationality: Netherlands

Sport: Skating

ATTENDANCE AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES

Sarajevo 1984

Calgary 1988

Albertville 1992

AWARDS

Olympic medals:

Gold: 3

Other results:

World Championships

Silver : 1 (88)

Bronze : 2 (87, 89)

Upset Heroine of Haarlem

Although she was the world record holder at 5,000m, Yvonne van Gennip's chances for Olympic victory appeared to be ruined when she was hospitalised two months before the Games after her right foot became infected following a cut caused by tying her skate lace too tightly. But after lying in a hospital bed for two weeks, she discovered that the rest left her in the best condition of her life. In Calgary she upset the East German favourites at 3,000m, breaking the pre-Olympic world record by 4.82 seconds. Then she scored a narrow victory in the 1,500m, bettering her personal best by almost four seconds. Finally, van Gennip earned a third gold medal in the 5,000m race, beating her own world record by 6.23 seconds. When she was returned to her hometown of Haarlem, she was welcomed by 60,000 fans.

(Credit: IOC. Click here for further information.)

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