Swimming World August 2021 Presents – The Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn: One of the Greatest Sprinters of All Time

Swimming World August 2021 - Netherlands' Inge de Bruijn - One of the Greatest Sprinters of All Time
Inge de Bruijn, 2001 [PHOTO BY NORIKO CONCEPT IMAGES]

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The Swimming World August 2021 Issue Presents

The Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn: One of the Greatest Sprinters of All Time

By John Lohn

The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney are widely remembered for the home-nation success of Australia, which was spearheaded by teenage sensation Ian Thorpe. But the Games Down Under also served as a redemptive locale for the Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn, who used the stage to define herself as one of the sport’s legends.

Usually, an invitation to the Olympic Games would generate greater passion for the sport and a more-intense focus on the work that awaits. But not all athletes are wired the same, and as the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta approached, something was missing for Inge de Bruijn. Her training sessions lacked dedication. Sometimes, she would arrive late to practice. On occasion, she didn’t show up at all!

In the early 1990s, de Bruijn was a promising talent for the Netherlands. At the 1991 European Championships, de Bruijn earned a silver medal (100 butterfly) and bronze medal (50 freestyle) in Athens, efforts that complemented a relay bronze medal from the World Championships. The next year, she was eighth in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly at the Olympics in Barcelona.

Although de Bruijn did not reach the podium in her Olympic debut, she did enough to suggest that big days were ahead in the sprint and fly. And with another European medal in the 50 free in 1993, the Dutchwoman seemed on pace. But on the road to the Centennial Olympics, de Bruijn lost the fire that is necessary to compete at the highest level.

It might have been the best thing for her career.

A BENEFICIAL BREAK
De Bruijn managed to qualify for the Atlanta Games, but her waning desire led Coach Jacco Verhaeren to dismiss her from the national team roster. It wasn’t an easy decision for Verhaeren to make, as de Bruijn was also his girlfriend. But it was the right call, and one that—eventually—provided a major boost to de Bruijn’s career.

“My break in 1996 was good for me,” de Bruijn said. “I didn’t swim for a year. There was no point going to the Olympics because I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself. I wasn’t having fun. After that, I put in the hard work, and I used my talent totally. I just got faster and faster.”

In 1997, de Bruijn shifted her training base to the United States, where she started to work with Paul Bergen. In Bergen, de Bruijn found a mentor who had elite credentials, specifically as the former coach to Tracy Caulkins, and was able to bring out the best in the Dutch lady. In short time, the fire that once burned returned.

By the 1998 World Championships, de Bruijn was a finalist in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and she earned three medals at the 1999 European Championships—gold in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and silver in the 100 freestyle. A year shy of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, de Bruijn had established herself as a major force.

“What has really made a big difference to my fitness is the dryland training (Bergen) has introduced into my program,” de Bruijn said. “I do a lot of running, biking, rope climbing, jump ropes, medicine balls and stretching. Those kinds of things have really made me feel in good shape.”

TOP OF THE WORLD
The 2000 campaign can only be described as sensational for de Bruijn, whose march to Sydney included world records in all three of her prime events. Overall, de Bruijn broke six global standards en route to her second Olympiad, efforts that enabled her to compete with booming confidence. More were produced in Sydney.

During her week in Australia, de Bruijn put together one of the most impressive performances by a female in Olympic history. She swept all three of her individual events and set a world record in each discipline. Her world records in the freestyle events arrived in the semifinals, with her global mark in the 100 butterfly punctuating her gold-medal effort. She added a silver medal as a member of the Netherlands’ 400 freestyle relay.

De Bruijn’s triple-gold performance was staggering on the whole, but a closer look at each of her triumphs revealed an even more exceptional effort. None of the Dutchwoman’s races were close, as she prevailed by 19-hundredths in the 50 free and a half-second in the 100 free. In the 100 butterfly, de Bruijn blasted the competition, her world-record time of 56.61 more than a second clear of silver medalist Martina Moravcova of Slovenia.

In becoming one of the stars of Sydney, de Bruijn had to defeat some of the top names in the sport. In the sprint-freestyle events, Sweden’s Therese Alshammar was the silver medalist in both distances, with American Dara Torres winning bronze in the 50 freestyle and sharing bronze with countrywoman Jenny Thompson in the 100 freestyle.

To read more about why Inge de Bruijn is considered one of the top sprinters of all time,
Click here to download the full issue of Swimming World August 2021 now!

 

Swimming World August 2021 - Torri Huske - Female High School Swimmer of the Year - COVER[PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK]

 


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SWIMMING WORLD AUGUST 2021 FEATURES

012 | READY FOR A NEW CHALLENGE
by David Rieder
Torri Huske finished her high school career by setting national high school records in the 100 yard fly and 200 IM and by being named Swimming World’s Female High School Swimmer of the Year for the second time (2019, 2021). The 18-year-old senior from Yorktown High School (Arlington, Va.) will be moving on to Stanford in the fall, but first, she set an American record in the 100 meter fly at U.S. Trials that earned her a trip to Tokyo to compete in her first Olympics.

014 | TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
by Dan D’Addona
Everything appears to be OK for Norman North (Okla.) High School senior Aiden Hayes. He set two national high school records (100 fly and 50 free) this past season. He competed and gained experience at the U.S. Olympic Trials as the fastest 18-year-old in the country in butterfly. And he was named Swimming World’s Male High School Swimmer of the Year.

016 | CREAM OF THE CROP
by David Rieder and Andy Ross
There were some mighty fast swimmers who finished the 2020-21 high school season right behind Swimming World’s Female and Male High School Swimmers of the Year, Torri Huske and Aiden Hayes. Of the four runners-up, two of them are underclassmen and will be returning for more fast swimming in 2021-22.

018 | TOP HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITS
by Chandler Brandes
Swimming World takes a look at the swimmers it considers to be the 10 best high school recruits—both male and female—from the Class of 2021 and where they’ll be attending college in the fall.

021 | NUTRITION: WHAT TO EAT BEFORE THE “BIG RACE”
by Dawn Weatherwax
To reach your swimming goals, it is important to know what to eat—at what times and in what amounts. It is different for everyone, but very important to master.

022 | ISHOF: THE U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS—DONNA DeVARONA AND THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF WOMEN’S SWIMMING
by Bruce Wigo
At the recent U.S. Olympic Trials, there was one moment that linked the past with the present and future of swimming like no other. It came when Donna de Varona presented Olympic qualification medals to Katie Grimes, the youngest member of the 2021 Olympic swimming team, and three-time Olympian Katie Ledecky.

025 | ONE OF THE GREATEST SPRINTERS OF ALL TIME
by John Lohn
The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney are widely remembered for the home-nation success of Australia, which was spearheaded by teenage sensation Ian Thorpe. But the Games Down Under also served as a redemptive locale for the Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn, who used the stage to define herself as one of the sport’s legends.

028 | MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH KATE DOUGLASS
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

030 | SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING KAYLA WILSON
by Michael J. Stott
Coach Richard Hunter of TIDE Swimming in Virginia Beach, Va. discusses goals and workouts for one of his top swimmers, Kayla Wilson, a rising senior at Norfolk Academy who recently committed to Stanford for fall 2022.

034 | SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 4)—MINIMIZING THE ARM ENTRY PHASE TIME IN BACKSTROKE AND BREASTSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
To minimize the arm entry phase time in backstroke, a swimmer must quickly move the hand downward directly behind and below the shoulder. Minimizing the arm entry phase (glide phase) in breaststroke requires precise control of the timing between the finish of the kick and the beginning of the pull. A decrease in the non-propulsive entry phase decreases the time for a stroke cycle, increases stroke rate and increases swimming velocity.

038 | SPECIAL SETS: ENERGY SYSTEM TRAINING
by Michael J. Stott
George Heidinger, former USA Swimming National Team High Performance Consultant and owner of Pikes Peak Athletics (Colo.), specializes in long-term athlete development. As such, he is well-schooled in the science of energy systems and shares some sample sets he has given to rising high school senior Quintin McCarty and his PPA senior teammates.

040 | A COACHES’ GUIDE TO ENERGY SYSTEMS (Part 3): WHILE THEY’RE YOUNG
by Michael J. Stott
In Part 3 of our series on energy systems, two age group coaches—one from Clovis, Calif. and one from Richmond, Va.—share how they inform and guide their younger athletes through energy system training.

043 | Q&A WITH COACH NICHOLAS ASKEW
by Michael J. Stott

044 | HOW THEY TRAIN: MILES SIMON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

033 | DRYSIDE TRAINING: GOLD MEDAL WORKOUT
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

036 | GOLDMINDS: 10 GREAT REASONS TO GET BACK IN THE POOL
by Wayne Goldsmith

47 | UP & COMERS: BRIAN HAMILTON
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 | A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 | DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT ETHELDA BLEIBTREY?

046 | HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048 | GUTTERTALK

049 | PARTING SHOT

 

 

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