The three lived for their sport, but only one of them goes to Tokyo

Triathlete player Maya Kingma (25 years old) chose her own path

The question was not whether Maya Kingma would win the Dutch Triathlon Championships last weekend, but in particular how far Maya Kingma would win. Kingma, who lives in Maastricht, was too fast for everyone. Not surprisingly, if you are also the best in the world right now.

Kingma travels to the Tokyo Games with a backpack full of confidence. But that baggage has only been around since this year, and definitively after winning the World Cup in Leeds a month and a half ago. That was Tokyo’s last international benchmark moment, and Kingma was the best out there. The version released there was great.

A road full of shit

Because certainly not everything has been going well in recent years, after Trouw portrayed her in 2017 as an athlete on a piece of cake. far from being. Kingma once called it a “bullshit” road, precisely because it has suffered more setbacks than positive moments.

The fact that she has now been hacked is also because she is stubborn. “I chose my own path and used my intuition to filter this nonsense from all opinions that come your way. Next, it is about using your common sense not to get lost and having the courage to dare to look for another way if you get stuck.”

For Kingma, this other track began in 2017. Then I left the National Triathlon League program. She herself was looking for a new swimming coach, someone to write down her training schedules and now she’s learning from her friend, a former cyclist, the best way to attack during the cycling part. It’s something you specifically practice at Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard.

another person

But, she says, the triathlon never made her life. “What helped me especially was that I was also a different person. I studied, and I didn’t always throw everything at the top of the sport. This also helps to get through the tough times.”

In her case, many injuries prevailed over difficult times. Running in particular was (and still is) a risky part. She can still run a maximum of 30 kilometers per week. “The training I have to do has to be good. And if I feel something once, I don’t.”

search period

This approach works for her. She says running has gotten a lot better a year ago. Why is that? Don’t get hurt. This sounds easier than it is, because it took time to find a good balance for walking. It was a research period. Also for people with the same vision as me. Now I get help from a marathon runner. And I invest more in cycling, because then I’m less tired when I run.”

Kingma is a medal candidate in Tokyo. Now that she has improved her running, she is taking advantage of her powerful swimming and cycling abilities. Because of the swimming, she regularly ends up in the leading group, where she can be the engine. She can then finish the run, although there are still faster athletes in the latter part. “But it’s very special to think that things could go well in Tokyo.”

Dora Barnes statue

Fencer Eline Rentier (25): ‘There were many tears, but I had no other choice’

“I was a fencer, I was allowed to go to the Olympics and was able to participate in really great tournaments all over the world. Yes, I had a pain in my hip, but I kept going. It wasn’t until it became unbearable that I checked it out. I ruined all What can break.When that was clear, at the end of 2019, things went really fast.A month later I had surgery.

“I was in bed for two weeks and had to rehab for eleven months. But once I finished, I didn’t recover from my point of view. I couldn’t be the best athlete I was anymore. The athlete’s body evaporated. I was highly advised medically. By not participating in the best sports.There were many tears, but I had no other choice.

“I still have lower back pain. I wish I could trade my career for a pain-free life, but I still live in uncertainty. It probably will never go away completely.”

“I’m currently working on my master’s thesis. That’s a good distraction. Fortunately, I’ve always studied alongside sports. So I’ve been able to shift my focus with relative ease. Studying, that’s my goal now, although of course there’s sadness about the time as a fencing star.” Big “.

Surf Joris van Essen (25): “Surfing at the Olympics isn’t fun”

“I stopped in 2019 because my discipline was under pressure. I surfed, behind Dorian van Riselberg and Kieran Badluy. There was a chance I would be at the top. But surfing as I did would have been excluded from the Olympic program. I said to myself: If the situation was Under this tension, am I going to take this passion out of him?If I want to enjoy surfing, I will go into the water at IJmuiden with a southwest power 8. Olympic kitesurfing is not fun.This is beech wood.It all came together when I had another show Whether I want to take over the management of a beach club in IJmuiden.

“Within two months, I’m totally bang-boom. Full-time work. Describe flying behavior to a top athlete. You fall into a hole anyway. Work on your passion every day, then your own company. I haven’t looked fondly at that option for two years.” It made me sad. I don’t do sports anymore. Also because I knew: I could have stood there.

“But my great sports life has also saved me in the company, even in the last difficult year. I did it. Sometimes they say: Take a vacation. But now I also have a four-year plan, and I see the end goal of it. And then I will take it easy after that.”

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Sports talents have to travel the world on a piecemeal basis

Many early-career athletes travel the world to train and compete. They often have to pay thousands of euros for it themselves.

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