31601-Maaike Bennink photo

Maaike Bennink

Alpine Skiing


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Paul Boog

Further personal information

's-Hertogenbosch, NED
Business Owner, Massage Therapist
Dutch, English, German

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She first got involved in Para cycling and Para rowing in 2013, and later took up skiing, having never skied before her visual impairment.
Why this sport?
She was introduced to Para skiing through a ski holiday to Austria for the visually impaired, arranged by the Dutch Visually Impaired Skiing Association [NVSV]. "Not for me, I thought immediately, I don't fit in at all. But when a friend, who had been, came back with such positive stories, she convinced me to come along. I am still very happy about that, because it was so cool."

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Sporting philosophy / motto
"I know no fear." (, 04 Jun 2018)
Other sports
She has competed in Para cycling track and Para rowing at national level in the Netherlands. (, 27 Feb 2014)
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (, 04 Jun 2018)
In 2006 she was diagnosed with an optic nerve condition, which has resulted in her having less than 2% vision. (, 16 Dec 2016;, 27 Feb 2014;, 04 Jun 2018)
Other information
Prior to the diagnosis of her visual impairment she worked as a nurse and as a youth social worker. As her vision deteriorated, she became interested in sports massage, and started her own massage business in late 2015. "Because I'm an athlete I know what sports massage can do and why it's worth it. That's why I started to work in the area. It's great to be able to make your passion your work." (Facebook profile, 17 Nov 2020;, 16 Dec 2016)

In 2010, four years after her optic nerve condition diagnosis, she began attending a rehabilitation centre. "Especially in the early stages of my visual impairment, I only looked at the negative. I was no longer able to drive a car, cycle or perform my job as a nurse on my own. I felt worthless and wondered who I still was. It was a difficult time. Fortunately, there was plenty of room for fun in the evenings, 'evening rehabilitation' and we did almost everything we could to numb our bodies. The great amount of fun I experienced there eventually helped me through." (, 07 Oct 2020)