We received a question about the Mulder twins in speed skating. Back in Sochi, Michel Mulder won the 500 m by the microscopic margin of 0.012 seconds. His twin brother, Ronald, finished third on that occasion. While Michel failed to qualify for PyeongChang, Ronald will be racing there, and is one of the contenders for a medal, and possibly even the gold medal. If he does, would he be the first Olympian to succeed his twin brother or sister?
The answer depends a bit on which cases you consider. There’s been several cases of twins winning gold medals together, and some of these have done this back-to-back. For example, Slovakians Peter and Pavol Hochschorner have won the canoeing slalom event C2 in both 2000, 2004 and 2008, so you could say they succeeded their twin, twice even. There have been several of these cases over time:
|Jörg & Berndt Landvoigt||East Germany||1976-1980||Men's Coxless Pairs||Rowing|
|Peter & Pavol Hochschorner||Slovakia||2000-2008||Men's C2 Slalom||Canoeing|
|Caroline & Georgina Evers-Swindell||New Zealand||2004-2008||Women's Double Sculls||Rowing|
|Kristine & Katrine Lunde||Norway||2008-2012||Women||Handball|
The Slovakian Hochschorner twins, winning the second of their three consecutive golds.
There have been two cases where twins won consecutive gold medals, but without both being on both gold medal teams, like above. This happened twice:
|Yevgeny & Boris Mayorov||USSR||1964-1968||Men||Ice Hockey|
|Manja & Kerstin Kowalski||Germany||2000-2004||Women's Quadruple Sculls||Rowing|
However, twins succeeding each other as Olympic champions in an individual event would be a first. For completeness, this has happened a few time with non-twin siblings:
|Hayes & David Jenkins||USA||1956-1960||Men's Singles||Figure Skating|
|Robert & Christoph Harting||Germany||2012-2016||Men's Discus Throw||Athletics|
|Christine & Marielle Goitschel||France||1964-1968||Women's Slalom||Alpine Skiing|
French sisters Goitschel share a laugh with French prime minister, Georges Pompidou.