Wendy Vuik: "All or nothing"
She has set her sights on the goal Sochi 2014. Meeting the requirements, set by the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands, to be eligible to participate in the Olympic Games might not be an easy task. Wendy Vuik needs to rank at least once among the best eight athletes of the World Cup, but she knows: "This is competitive sports and there it's all or nothing!"
The career of the 23-year-old old started when she made her first jumps on a 10 m hill in Bergschenhoek close to Rotterdam. Her cousin had already discovered the passion for ski jumping and invited her to attend a training session. Since there haven't been any hills in her own country, like every ski jumper from the Netherlands she had to train in Meinerzhagen (GER), where training camps of the national team take place even today. To enable that training possibility in those days, the children's parents had to spend a lot of time and money.
It was in 2004 when Wendy Vuik took part in her first international competition, a FIS Cup in Meinerzhagen, Germany. So far she achieved the best results of her career by ranking sixth at the Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey (2011), seventh at the Continental Cup in Rovaniemi, Finland (2011), eighth at the FIS Grand Prix in Almaty, Kazakhstan (2012) as well as 14th at the World Cup competition in Hinterzarten, Germany (2012). She also took part in the first ever women's ski jumping competitions at Nordic World Championships and was 23rd in Liberec 2009 and Oslo 2011. Now, before the start of the second World Cup season and with World Championships coming up, she is already thinking about the Olympic dream 17 months from now: "I'll do everything I can to qualify for Sochi!"
Apart from being a ski jumper, Vuik decided to become a teacher and graduated three years ago. Postgraduate studies, however, were not possible due to the time she had to spend on training. This year she finally finished her education and may now call herself a sports masseur. By doing painting works she is able to earn some extra money indeed, but being supported by her parents makes it possible for her to go on with ski jumping this way. Moreover, in collaboration with sports marketing specialists Vuik is looking for sponsors and hopes to be successful by improving her performance and achieving better results.
Vuik was satisfied with her training and results this summer and hopes she can jump on the same level also in winter. She has improved physically, also because she didn't suffer any injuries this year. "Of course it's hard work to achieve better results this winter than last year because the other athletes are also improving. That's why it will be tough season with lots of training and competitions and not much time at home", Vuik told.
Just like the other athletes, Wendy Vuik is happy about the development her sport has experienced over the past years. So far the Dutch team didn't take part in any mixed team competitions, but she already shares the enthusiasm for the new format: "I watched the events in Courchevel and Hinterzarten this summer and the atmosphere was really cool. The feeling to compete together and for each other as a team, is of course creating a good team spirit!