Overshadowed early in her career by her teammate, Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, Claudia Pechstein has persevered to post the greatest long-distance speed skating record at the Olympic Games among women. She has won five Olympic gold medals, winning the 5,000 metres in 1994, 1998, and 2002, adding the 3,000 metres in 2002, and skating on Germany's victorious pursuit team in 2006. In all she has won nine Olympic medals, adding a silver in the 1998 3,000, and 2006 5,000, and bronze medals in the 1994 3,000 and 1992 1,500, making her the top German Winter Olympian through the Torino Games. 2014 in Sotchi she placed unfortuante fourth over 3000 m and fifth over 5000 m. She was World Allround champion in 2000, finishing second in that event a record 8 times. She became European Champion in 1998, 2006 and 2009. She also won five titles at World Single Distance Championships, winning in the 1500 m (2000), 3000 m (2000, 2004) and 5000 m (1996, 2003). In addition, Pechstein won the 3/5k World Cup three years in a row (2003-2005), winning 32 World Cup races in total. Despite occasionally skipping the German Championships, she also amassed 6 allround titles and 7 distance wins.
At the 2009 World Championships, Pechstein was barred from competition on the second day due to irregularly high blood values. The ISU later found these values to be indicative of doping use and gave the German a two-year doping ban. Pechstein, denying the allegations, appealed the decision. In November 2009, the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the suspension. On January 15, 2015, the Munich Court explained that the action for damages from Pechstein over 4.4 million euros against the ISU will be assumed. The hearing may not happen until the decision about the responsibilities of sports courts and courts of law will be drawn by the German Federal Court.
2011, only four days after the end date of her suspension, she gave a furious comeback and fulfilled the norm times for the upcoming World Cup. She also tried to qualify for the Olympic Games in London 2012 in cycling, but failed in the qualifications. In 2012, however, she won her 37th World Championship medal (silver), and in 2017 her 41st (silver) at the age of 44 years (!!).
Personal Bests: 500 – 38.99 (2006); 1000 – 1:16.00 (2007); 1500 – 1:54.31 (2008); 3000 – 3:57.35 (2006); 5000 – 6:46.91 (2002).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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