Bronze!

Bronze

Semi finals
There we were. Ready to play the semi final against our rival Germany. Pretty exited, will we manage to show what we can. Of course! Reality unfortunately turned out differently. Our defense was great and we kept the German team at a low score. In our offence we had troubles. No ball fell in the basket and you saw the team looking for other options. At half time we had a big gap, but believed we could still change it. Let’s go! We fought like lions, even came as close as 4 points, but we lost… I said it before, I hate losing, especially this way, not showing what we are worth…

Our dream in tatters..
When you play a fabulous game and you lose, it’s still shity, but can in the end have peace with it. But losing this way, against an opponent who didn’t play very well, is so tough. In the end the only thing that matters is who scores the most points, weither it’s with magnificent play or just ugly. We will not play the finals, gone dream! It has never been so quiet in the changing room. Disbelieve, anger and sadness… But one thing was for sure, we would not leave Rio empty handed. No way!

Bronze
The next morning we got up with kind of a hangover (no unfortunately this was one of a terrible nightmare). Not much time to process, breakfast at 9, bus at 10 and by 11.45 we were singing our national anthem for the final time. Ready to fight the batlle for bronze with the British girls. The disappointment was still there, but in the mean time it had appeared in anger and the need to finish this game with good result.

Straight from the beginning it was clear that we were too strong for the British girls. Basketball can be such an awesome sport if it all works out. Offence paid off, defence was steady as a rock and importantly the balls fell into the basket! In the end we all get to play and won with big numbers.

Happiness vs disappointment
Of course we were happy to have won this final game. But to us this was something we had to do and there was no other way then winning. Still I wasn’t really happy with bronze. Understandable, cause we came with an other goal. Knew we were so much better then this, but didn’t show it at times it matters most. At this moment it’s maybe more being content that we didn’t go home empty handed and did show the world that we can play ball.

Tourist
The next day we got to see a bit of the city. The big statue of Christo had to be seen and our minds wondered of by seeing and hearing the ocean and her waves. So nice to escape the special world we created at the Paralympic village for a while. At night there was a big party and celebrations with TeamNL and all our fans, family and friends in a beach club. Awesome to let all tension go and enjoy this night to end this experience.

Tivoli
We flew back in an orange KLM bird and were guided by 2 F16 in the Dutch airspace. A special honor guard by the fire dept at schiphol made the welcome home complete.  From Schiphol we took the bus to Utrecht, where the next celebration was to take place in Tivoli. A packed house got us on stage with a deafening applause. Sweet!

Snacks at the King’s Palais
The next morning all medal winners and their coaches got together bright and shiny (haha not really) at the Big church in Den Hague. After several foto moments, celebrations, words of important people we headed to the Palais where we were expected by the King. Really cool to have a word with him and princess Margriet, not just about Rio but also about my next goal, PyeongChang.

Rio, you were amazing
Who in advance said that Rio didn’t embraze the games and the people weren’t all that interested, is so wrong. The people from Brazil were awesome. Packed stadions and eve more visitors the during the Olympics. Wow! Obrigada!

Ok the result may not be what I expected and it will take a while before  I will be super stocked with Bronze. But I am aware that this is a very special one. We worked hard the past years to get here, had our ups and downs but always came out stronger. As professional athlete you won’t get any guarantees, but in the end we do have the best job in the world, so I will definitely continue!

Black hole….no thanks!
It’s really strange to be back home and all ‘alone’. Or at least not with 125 teammates around. The past weeks we have lived in our own world, not just with my basketballteam, but with complete teamNL, so it feels weird to be back in the ‘normal’ world. Back to real life and being an individual. With all celebrations en special moments, our week is pretty full and planned and next week I need to pack my bags again and head to the snow. Ready to work on my road to PyeongChang and get back to bizz!

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