2023: My Journey of Challenges, Triumph, and Outlook Towards Paris 2024

2023: My Journey of Challenges, Triumph, and Outlook Towards Paris 2024

It’s time to reflect on an intense and inspiring year. 2023 was a year of change, growth, and unexpected adventures for me. This has also been the year that lays the foundation for, hopefully, success in 2024.

πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ Sprinting Through Challenges

The year began with a sprint – literally. I focused on the 60 meters, determined to improve my time. I started with 8.7 seconds, which soon felt like the starting point of something bigger. Each training session and every drop of sweat brought me closer to my goal.

🌍 An Adventurous Turn

Next, it was time for a breathtaking turn. I traveled to Alagna for a campaign with Samsung, an experience that broadened my horizons and showed me how versatile life as an athlete can be. This adventure with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro was more than just a trip – it was a revelation of possibilities.

When I returned from Alagna, there was one more competition in the indoor season, the NK Indoor in Apeldoorn. I returned from Italy on Friday and improved my time to 8.46 seconds on Sunday. That nearly quarter-second improvement in the 60 meters was a physical feat and a mental victory.

🏑 A New Chapter at Home

My personal life also took a significant turn. The decision to move was both exciting and daunting. The quick sale of our house and the search for a new home were a whirlwind of emotions and challenges. But as always, we found a way through the storm.

πŸ” Technological Leaps

The switch from the Xiborg V to the Γ–ssur Cheetah Extreme blade marked a new chapter in my athletic career. This change and the start of the collaboration with Heckert and van Lierop opened new doors and opportunities.

πŸ₯‡ A Year of Records

From the moment I switched to the new blade, I knew this season would not be flawless. Getting a new leg that feels different and reacts differently will affect your speed. I have complete confidence in myself, and this is not my first switch. On the track, I quickly found my rhythm back, with a personal record of 12.76 seconds in the 100 meters in Nottwil. From that moment, every race felt like a step closer to my dream.

🌟 Challenge and Triumph in Paris

The World Championships in Paris were a test of my resilience. A new socket, alignment including a different category blade. During the 100-meter heats, my starting block failed, almost costing me participation in the final. This was a heavy setback; to make it worse, I thought it was my lousy start. Later, after analyzing the footage, we saw that I almost pushed the block off the rails.

Despite this huge setback, I recovered reasonably well in the final later that day. The most important lesson of that day was the power of perseverance. Then, later that week, winning Silver in the 200 meters was not just an achievement; it was a confirmation of my determination.

πŸ“¦ A Race Against Time

The move was a marathon in itself. The key handover and the tight deadline were a race against time, but we made it. This was more than just a physical move; it was a transition to a new chapter in my life.

As I settle into my new home, I look forward to 2024. The winter months are a time of training and preparation for the Paralympic Games in Paris. Every moment, every training session brings me closer to that goal. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. With your support, I believe anything is possible.

I train every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at Papendal under the guidance of Joep Janssen and Fynn van Buuren. Every Friday, I train at the home track Prins Hendrik in Vught, where Joep Janssen also gives training. What a great team and amazing coaches. We keep each other sharp.

All thanks to the coaches for the past year.

Thanks to Atletiekunie for providing training facilities and facilitating competitions, tournaments, and training camps.

Also, thanks to Vughtse Sportclub Prins Hendrik for providing training facilities.

Support from sponsors is essential to achieve the highest possible. Thank you so much again for your support.

Thanks to all sponsors:
Van Dort Letselschade

Thanks to Fonds Gehandicaptensport.

Thanks to Sport Stories.

Finally, thanks to my fiancΓ©.
My rock in the surf.
We do this together.
You are always there for me.
Without you I would not be able to get where I am.

πŸŽ†Let’s make a bang in 2024.