Guido Goertzen, Peter Plange, Henk Jan Held, and Ron Zwerfer. They were all present for the reunion in Pappendale on Wednesday afternoon. On August 4, 1996, the Dutch volleyball team made history with a gold medal during the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
For many sports fans, this remains one of the most beautiful moments in Dutch sports history. The Netherlands won the final against Italy in Atlanta. It happened in the extreme, in the fifth set 17-15, 25 years ago to today.
At the reunion in Papendale, the impression he had left the golden victory over the entire Dutch sports world was widely discussed. For example, Mart Smeets, judo icon Cor van der Geest and former NOC NSF president André Bolhuis praised the team. “The impact was huge. Much bigger than the players realize.”
The team won the silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It happened after the players trained according to the bench racing model. They did not play a competition but trained day in and day out with the national team at Panchrachal in Amstelveen. Avital Selinger’s theory has been training relentlessly to get the most out of it.
At a later Olympics she managed to get gold. It worked under national coach Jupp Alberda, who was also present at the reunion on Wednesday. Ron Zwerver wrote a book about this period of his life. The 12 volleyball players received the first copies of the Zwerver.
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