Relief. Joy. Fatigue. It is difficult to explain what this really means for me because in reality, qualifying is only the prequel. The best and most challenging part is yet to come: preparing for and competing in the Olympic Games! And this leaves me with a deep feeling of determination and purpose. Perhaps even more exciting is that I will get to share this experience with fellow Belgian teammates Katrien Verstuyft (2012 Olympian), Marten Van Riel and Jelle Geens. This is the first time Belgium will send 4 triathletes to the Games!!
A word of thanks...
Finally, while words cannot truly express my gratitude to everyone who has helped me achieve this goal, I want to extend an enormous thank you to my entire support system – you know who you are. To my parents who always encouraged me to pursue my passions and invested so much time, money and effort to ensure I was in the best position to succeed. To my sisters who always put up with their sport-addict sister who needed to find a pool or gym on family vacations. To my coaches, both past and present, for devoting so much energy and patience to develop a highly-ambitious, yet low-experience athlete. To Johan, my back-bone, training partner and unofficial bike mechanic. To the Brussels Triathlon Club, for introducing me to the sport and helping launch my career. To my partners and sponsors, for taking a chance on me and providing high-quality materials: Mathot, Alii Sport, Zone 3, Skechers, and Jolly Sox. To the medical and support staff for going above their professional duties to keep my head and body in one piece. To the LBFDT and ADEPS for financially supporting me throughout this process and allowing me to live from my sport. To my friends, for being there to give me a hug whether I finished first or last. Lastly, a big thank you to my Belgian teammates, from whom I’ve learned so much and look forward to many more memories together.
Now it’s time for a short recovery period before a solid training block to prepare for Rio! Let the adventure continue!!
Thanks for reading,