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VERVOORT Marieke
Sport Para athletics
NPC Belgium   
GenderWomen
Age39
Place of BirthDiest, BEL
Height1.67 m
Weight 45 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T52
Further Personal Information
Residence
Diest, BEL
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker, Public Speaker
Languages
Dutch, English, Spanish
Higher education
Leuven University College [KHL]: Diest, BEL
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
Previously a para-triathlete, she began wheelchair racing in 2011.
Why this sport?
"I love wheeling."
Club / Team
AC Lyra: Lier, BEL
Name of coach
Jo Cooman, BEL, from 2012; Rudi Diels, BEL, from 2012
Senior International Debut
Year
2006
Competing for
Belgium
Location
Hamburg, GER
General Interest
Nicknames
Wielemie, The Beast from Diest (Twitter profile, 17 Aug 2016; demorgen.be, 03 Aug 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Most influential person in career
Coach Jo Cooman. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Hero / Idol
Belgian footballer Vincent Kompany. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Injuries
In early 2016 she underwent surgery on her bladder. (demorgen.be, 03 Aug 2016; nieuwsblad.be, 22 Jun 2015)

She injured her shoulder at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France. She underwent surgery and returned to competition at the 2014 Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland. (paralympic.org, 17 May 2014; nieuwsblad.be, 09 May 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Believe you can." (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named Belgian Paralympic Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2015. (Twitter profile, 17 Aug 2016; paralympic.org, 18 Dec 2012)

She received the 2014 National Trophy Victor Boin from the Belgian Paralympic Committee. (paralympic.org, 22 Jan 2015)
Other sports
She is a former world champion para-triathlete. (wielemie.be, 18 Jun 2014)
Impairment
At age 15 she was diagnosed with a rare progressive muscle condition, which resulted in paraplegia. She began using a wheelchair in 2000. (sporza.be, 30 Jul 2016; wielemie.be, 18 Jun 2014; paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)
Other information
RETIREMENT PLANS
She plans to retire from the sport following the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "I have a bucket list of activities I want to do including stunt flying. In spite of my condition, I have been able to experience things that others can only dream of. Every day it hurts, some nights I do not sleep, and after 10 minutes' sleep I have to train. I hope to finish my career on the podium in Rio." (express.co.uk, 01 Aug 2016; sporza.be, 30 Jul 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2012 200m T52 34.83
1 2012 100m T52 19.69
2 2016 400m T52 1:07.62
3 2016 100m T52 20.12
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2015 200m T52 35.91
1 2015 100m T52 20.39
Heats 2015 800m T53  DSQ
1 2015 400m T52 1:08.40