International Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees By Country (Netherlands)

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Maarten van der Weijden - 2017 Swimmer
Born in Haastrecht, Netherlands on March 31, 1981, Maarteen van der Weijden, followed in his older sister Etta’s wake in the pool and open water. As a young boy, he liked challenges and at the age of 11 he swam 100x100m in training. From 1998 to 2000 he became a 12-time Dutch national champion at the 1500m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 5km open water. Then, in 2001, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia and his chances for survival were very small. For the next two years, Maarten had little control over his life and he depended on the medical specialists to guide him through successful chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplantation. In 2003 he started to train again and amazingly qualified for the FINA Open Water World Championships in Barcelona. In 2004, he swam across the Ijsselmeer in 4:20.58hours, breaking the former record by almost 15 minutes to collect 50,000 Euros, which he donated for cancer research. Van der Weijden had his own website named “Maarten van der Weijden zwemt tegen kanker” (Maarten van der Weijden swims against cancer) where he informed his fans about his life and his career. He also collected more money to invest for cancer research. His dream was to become World Champion and over the next few years he trained hard and worked on his tactics. In 2008, he fulfilled this aim when he won the 25km at the World Championships in Seville. He also won a bronze medal in the 5km there and finished fourth at the 10km. This result qualified him for the first 10km open water marathon race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There he ended up winning the gold medal on August 21, narrowly edging out David Davies of Great Britain. He thus became the first mens’ Olympic Champion in the 10km open water competition. He announced the end of his professional swimming career during his acceptance speech as Dutch Sportsman of the year in 2008. But that’s not the end of his story.
Enith Brigitha - 2015 Swimmer
Enith Brigitha was born on the West Indian Island of Curacao, where she first learned to swim in the Caribbean Sea. By the time she moved to Holland with her mother and brother in 1970, she had become the island’s most promising swimmer.
Irene van der Laan - 2015 Open Water Swimmer
The one thing successful open water swimmers all seem to have in common is their appreciation for their crew and team. It’s usually all they can talk about after a swim, and Irene van der Laan is no different.
Karen Kuipers - 2014 Water Polo Player
She was appointed Knight of the Order of Orang-Nassau in 2011, a chivalric order open to everyone who has earned special merits for society because of her great services to Dutch Water Polo. It is a grade comparable with the ranks of the Order of the British Empire in the UK.
Judith van Berkel-de Nijs - 2014 Open Water Swimmer
When women’s swimming was added to the Olympic program in 1912, it was inconceivable that women could ever compete equally against men in sports. The impossible became possible when Gertrude Ederle beat the record time of the male Channel swimmers in 1926.
Pieter van den Hoogenband - 2013 Swimmer
His mother, Astrid Verner, is a former 800 meter freestyle silver medalist of the European Championships. His father Cees is the team doctor with the PSV Eindhovan professional football team and a FINA doctor. Astrid became coach of the Dutch swimming team and Cees provided the foundation to secure a financial base to keep the team operating.
Inge de Bruijn - 2009 Swimmer
Inge de Bruijn is the most successful athlete of all time in Dutch sports history.
Iet van Feggelen - 2009 Pioneer
For a 20-year period, Dutch backstroke swimmers held all the World backstroke records between Rie Mastenbroek, Nina Senff, Cor Kint and Iet van Feggelen in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
Herman Willemse - 2008 Open Water Swimmer
There are marathon swimmers, long distance racers and open water swimmers, but Herman Willemse was all of these.