Remembering Lara van Ruijven

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dutch speed skater Lara van Ruijven at the age of 27. Lara was an active member of the Athlete365 community, and a great athlete who will be sorely missed by the entire Olympic Movement.  

Lara van Ruijven passed away at the age of 27following complications from an autoimmune disorder while at a training camp in France. The Dutch short track skater competed twice at the Olympic Winter Games, first at Sochi 2014, then at PyeongChang2018, where she won a bronze medal in the 3000m relay as part of the Dutch team. 

Lara began racing short track as a child in the Netherlands, and was deeply devoted to her sport. She won nine medals at the European Championships between 2013 and 2020, including five gold medals in the 3000m relay with her compatriots. 

Aged 21, her Olympic career began at Sochi 2014, where she gained invaluable experience competing at the highest levelLara returned to the Games with great success four years later. At PyeongChang 2018, she and her teammates set an Olympic and world record in the bronze medal race which secured their podium finish 

That Olympic medal acted as a springboard for Lara, who went on to claim her first medal at the World Championships later that same year in the 3000m relay, before winning gold in the 500m individual race at the 2019 edition of the championships in Sofia, making her the first Dutch woman to win a world short track title in an individual event.

Herman de HaanDirector of the Dutch national skating body said: “It’s incomprehensible that she has been taken from us while in the prime of her life.