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Rintje Ritsma

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 2
Bronze 4
Total 6
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameRobert Rintje•Ritsma
Used nameRintje•Ritsma
Nick/petnamesDe Beer van Lemmer
Born13 April 1970 in Lemmer (NED)
Measurements190 cm / 92 kg
AffiliationsTrainingsgroep De Preamkeskouwers
NOC(s) Netherlands

Biography

Although an Olympic gold medal has eluded Rintje Ritsma, he is definitely one of the all time speed skating greats. In his long career, he won the World Allround Championships four times (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001) and won a record six European titles (1994-1996, 1998-2000). In addition, he has won two World distance titles (both in 1997) and six Olympic medals between 1994 and 2006. He broke the World Record in the 1500 m twice, becoming both the first man to go faster than 1:52 and 1:49. In 1996, Ritsma caused a revolution in Dutch speed skating by starting the first professional skating team. His move caused a shift in skating, with all Dutch skaters now being employed by commercial teams rather than the national federation. Ritsma’s career was often thought to have come to an end, for example when he missed qualification for the 2001 World Championships. When illness of a team mate allowed him to compete after all, he took first place - his last international title. He also surprised critics by qualifying for the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, winning a team pursuit bronze in Torino. He finally did announce his retirement in September 2008.

Personal Bests: 500 – 35.90 (1999); 1000 – 1:10.19 (1999); 1500 – 1:45.86 (2002); 5000 – 6:20.26 (2006); 10000 – 13:28.19 (1998).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1992 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic =27 Representing Netherlands    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 12
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 4
1994 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Netherlands    
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 7
1998 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze Representing Netherlands    
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze
2002 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 9 Representing Netherlands    
2006 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) Team Pursuit (8 laps), Men Olympic Netherlands 3 Bronze Representing Netherlands    

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1998 Winter Olympics 8 February 1998 Speed Skating (Skating) 5,000 metres, Men Final Standings 6:28.24 WR 2
2006 Winter Olympics 15 February 2006 Speed Skating (Skating) Team Pursuit (8 laps), Men Qualifying Round 3:48.02 3

Other participations

Games Role Details
1994 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony Representing Netherlands    
2006 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony Representing Netherlands    

Special Notes