First European Championship in 16 years without Wüst and Kramer
They started together and they’re ending together. At the age of 18 in 2005, Ireen Wüst and Sven Kramer both made their debut as long-track speed skaters in the European Championships. 2021 is the first time in 16 years both were unable to qualify for the competition.
In their first championship, Wüst came in fourth and Kramer came in second. In the beginning, their confidence was not particularly high. “I don’t think you can expect much from us”, Wüst said in an interview back in 2005.
The two, however, soon began to dominate in the skating world. Wüst won a total of six gold, four silver and two bronze medals in the past 16 years. Kramer came in first a total of ten times after his first silver medal. This kicked off what Wüst herself described as “a Kramer- and Wüst-hype.”
Kramer only missed two championships; once in 2011 due to an injury and in 2014 because he was preparing for the Olympic games. Wüst never missed a single European championship.
The European Championship this year will take place this weekend in Heerenveen, Kramer's hometown in Friesland.