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NetherlandsNetherlands, NED


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
20 August 1990
180 cm
Partner Ferry Weertman
Eindhoven, NED
Dutch, English
Higher education
Business Administration, Communications - Notenboom Business School: Eindhoven, NED

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She first tried swimming at age three on a family holiday in Spain. She began swimming competitively at age seven in Groningen, Netherlands.
Why this sport?
She got her first swimsuit at age three while on a family holiday in Spain. "At that time, I felt that by wearing the suit I could swim. As a result, I almost drowned. But I did not give up because in the pool I felt free, fun and all other positive things."
Club / Team
HPC Eindhoven: Netherlands
Name of coach
Marcel Wouda [personal, national], NED

International Debut

Competing for
European Championships
Budapest, HUN

General Interest

Kromo (, 10 Aug 2017)
Hero / Idol
Dutch swimmers Inge De Bruijn and Marleen Veldhuis. (, 04 Aug 2012;, 2012)
She competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with a back problem. She sustained the injury during a pre-Games training camp in London, England. (, 02 Nov 2016)

In July 2010 she was diagnosed with viral meningitis while training with the Dutch national team in the Canary Islands, Spain. (, 29 Jul 2010)

She suffered an elbow injury at the 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester, England, and had to withdraw from the 100m freestyle event. (, 04 Jun 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Be yourself." (Athlete, 10 Jul 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named 2019 Sportswoman of the Year at the Eindhoven SportAwards in the Netherlands. (, 14 Jan 2020)

She was named 2012 European Swimmer of the Year by the European Swimming Federation [LEN]. (, 18 Feb 2013)

She was named the 2011 and 2012 Netherlands Sportswoman of the Year. (, 18 Dec 2012;, 13 Dec 2011)

She won the 2008 Dutch Olympic Committee [NOCNSF] Sports Talent of the Year award. (, 08 Jun 2008)

She was named Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau for winning a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (, 16 Aug 2012)

She has been named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. (Facebook page, 14 Aug 2017)
Famous relatives
Her partner Ferry Weertman has represented the Netherlands in open water swimming, and won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (Instagram profile, 09 Dec 2018; SportsDeskOnline, 10 Dec 2018)
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 10 Aug 2017)
Other information
She was disappointed after ending the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro without a medal, but returned to form a year later taking four medals at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. "I knew for sure that I could swim faster than I did in Rio. Now I have shown it. I never doubted it. It sometimes goes with ups and downs, that can happen occasionally. It was also not bad what I showed in Rio. You should not let your head hang and be grumpy for the rest of your life if you do not win gold or medal." (, 30 Jul 2017)

In September 2017 she had a tonsillectomy. "I had inflammations for many years, which was very annoying. But most important, every year, it would cost me about four weeks of training and always with unexpected timing. So I hope from now on I won't have those complaints anymore." She had to miss 12 days of training after the procedure. (, 19 Sep 2017)

She has served as an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF] and has founded the 'Ranomi Cup' a swimming event in The Hague, Netherlands to raise money for the charity. (Instagram profile, 25 Jan 2020;, 06 Apr 2019; Facebook page, 30 Nov 2016)

At age 18 she moved from Groningen to Eindhoven after competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where she won gold in the 400m freestyle relay. Four years later she won gold medals in both the 50m and 100m freestyle at the 2012 Games in London. She said that being in an athlete management, and a club, had helped her cope with the abrupt changes she endured during those period. "I was very shy as a child. That was the Groningen upbringing. Living in Eindhoven was quite different. People speak with more words, it was more exuberant. I learned to be more assertive and to say more than just yes, good or fine. Then I became aware [after winning two gold medals the 2012 Olympic Games] everyone has an opinion about me. If I didn't greet someone, I was suddenly arrogant. At first after London I had the idea that I should please everyone, but then you could never do it right. So it is nice to have a management that protects you and a home base that you can always rely on. Where you are not the swimmer or champion, but the daughter, sister or niece." (, 20 Aug 2020)