He was already world champion, world record holder, and now also the winner of the Olympic gold: Nils van der Poel. Van der Poel impressively won his two gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. During the 10.000m race, he put everyone at a distance and set a world record: 12.30,74. In the 5.000m race, he clocked a time of 6.08.84.
“All my dreams have come true. It was a great adventure.”
In almost all recent races he seemed supreme, and the competition was nowhere near him, but at the 5.000m there seemed to be a trace of doubt in Van der Poel's mind. His opponent Patrick Roest clocked in at a remarkable time of 6:09.31. Van der Poel, therefore, had to speed up in the final stage of the race and the Swedish public favorite managed to do so. He achieved a lead of just 0.47 seconds. This gave him his first Olympic gold medal.
His biggest rival Roest won silver, but he seemed not so happy with that. Until the last lap, Roest seemed to be heading for gold, but because of van der Poel, he just didn't make it.
Van der Poel took his second gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Friday in impressive fashion, during the 10.000m. In the early stages of the race, van der Poel quickly built up a head start upon his opponents.
In the final phase of his race, the competition was so far behind him that there was only one real opponent left for van der Poel: his own world record (12:32.95). With this world record, he took the supremacy of the longest distance in the speed skating world a year ago. And this opponent was also no match for the whirlwind from Sweden. He achieved a new world record with a time of 12:30.74.
By winning Olympic gold twice, van der Poel's dream is fulfilled and he looks back on a great adventure.
Awareness for human rights
Last Thursday, the two-time Olympic champion gave away his medal for the 10,000 meters to draw attention to the human rights situation in China. Van der Poel traveled to England to hand over his gold medal to the daughter of Gui Minhai.
Gui Minhai is a Chinese-born Swedish book publisher who is serving a 10-year prison sentence in China. Minhai has been in jail since 2020 for "illegally disseminating information from abroad", but there is speculation that this is a sham trial.
"I realize that this will not release Minhai and it will not stop the oppression of the Chinese people. But I really believe very much in freedom of expression."
The OG Heroes platform
Besides being an Olympic phenomenon, Nils van der Poel is also part of the OG Heroes platform. This is the platform of OG (OrangeGas) that is dedicated to sports talents who work very hard to achieve their goals.
Nils van der Poel about OG
"As a member of the OG Heroes, I feel connected to other athletes who inspire me in whatever area. In addition, OG is the perfect match for me. We both love the future and strive for perfection while enjoying the journey. And we both have the NL-Swe bond, which strengthens the cooperation. Together we are stronger, now and in the future!"
OG about Nils van der Poel
"OG Hero Nils van der Poel is our signboard. Van der Poel stands exactly for what we want to convey, contributing to the future. By supporting van der Poel, we can make his dreams come true and take away his worries.
Follow our heroes
A series of videos is made around the OG HEROES, which can be viewed on ogheroes.nl. The HEROES are followed on their journey to success. Who are they, what goals do they have and what does it take to achieve them?