Claudia Pechstein eyes seventh Olympics at age 45

Claudia Pechstein
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German speed skater Claudia Pechstein wants to compete in a record-tying seventh Olympics in 2018 at age 45, she told Bild newspaper in Germany.

Pechstein, who made her Winter Olympic debut at Albertville 1992, owns nine Olympic medals and five golds, one off the women’s Winter Olympic record in both categories.

The record for Winter Olympic appearances is seven, set by luger Albert Demtschenko and ski jumper Noriaki Kasai this year.

Pechstein disappointed by not winning a medal in Sochi in February. Pechstein finished fourth in the 3000m and fifth in the 5000m. She had finished first or second in the four World Cup 3000m or 5000m races before Sochi last season.

Still, she performed the best of Germany’s entire speed skating team in Sochi. Germany failed to win a speed skating medal for the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Germans vied with the U.S., the Netherlands and Norway for speed skating supremacy two decades ago, when Pechstein skated on a deep women’s team with Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann and Anni Friesinger.

Pechstein missed the Vancouver 2010 Olympics due to a suspension brought on by irregularities in her biological passport, a ban she’s still fighting.

Pechstein could become the oldest Winter Olympic medalist in an individual event ever in 2018. The record in a team event is held by Swede Carl August Kronlund, who won 1924 curling silver at 58.

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