Why did you choose the sport pole vault?
When I was Young I practiced gymnastics and athletics. Through the combination of these two sports I chose the discipline pole vault. My whole family likes athletics. Especially my father! He encouraged me to practice in the sport. Finally, I realized that I have talent for pole vault and if you have talent it is often fun to do.
You made your comeback in 2013, how often do you train and what kind of training do you do?
I train every day. The number of training and the type of training depends on the different periods of the season. As I prepare myself in the winter I train about 10 to 11 times a week. In the contest period, the training volume is less, then I train about 7 times a week.
I do different workouts. For example, I do technique trainings in which I mainly do jump practice. This type of training I do two to three times a week. I also do sprint workouts, these workouts are important to be fast. I do strength training 2 to 3 times a week. A combination of training is also possible. I often combine the jump with power by practicing jumping on a case. Finally I practice gymnastics 1 time a week.
Is there a difference between the training of the past and present?
In former times I trained more. I used to do a standard of 12 workouts a week. Currently, I do about 8 trainings a week.
You have participated in the European Youth Olympic Festival, how would you describe the EYOF?
I took part in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Valkenswaard in 1993. I did not realize what kind of event it was. I knew it was important and that I had to qualify, but I was not aware that it was an Olympic tournament. When I was actually at the tournament I realized that the tournament was very important. It is an tournament where you meet other athletes from your sport and different sports from all over Europe. It is different from other games, because there was an opening ceremony and all the athletes stayed together in an Olympic village. It is a special experience!
Did you meet other athletes during the EYOF and do you still have contact with them?
I met other athletes at the event. Of the athletes who were there, I think I am the only one who continued. I don’t have contact with these athletes anymore.
What was your highlight of the European Youth Olympic Festival?
I found the matches themselves the most fun. It was very official and was very different than I was used to. I also found the opening ceremony very special. I remember that the Dutch team was finally allowed to come in and I found it very cool. In addition, this has been my only opening ceremony that I have ever experienced. At the Olympics, I never experienced this because my events were always at the end of the Olympics. This makes the opening ceremony of EYOF unique to me!
Do you have a tip for young European athletes who want to participate in the European Youth Olympic Festival?
For athletes who qualified, I advise that they enjoy the moment and experience this to the fullest so they never forget this moment.