“As a former elite athlete, I know how important it is that everything around you is well taken care of. I want to make sure that the whole operation runs smoothly, so that the athletes can fully focus on their sports and their performance."
Wheelchair tennis legend Esther Vergeer will lead the Dutch Paralympic Team as Chef de mission at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The seven-time Paralympic champion wheelchair tennis was Deputy Chef de Mission at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
“I am very happy and proud that I am asked to perform this task for the Dutch team,’’, Vergeer said. “It was an amazing adventure to be part of the staff as Deputy Chef de Mission during the Games in Rio, which were very successful for our team. I definitely wanted more of that.’’
Vergeer sees an important role for herself in being the connecting link between athletes, coaches and staff.
She went undefeated for 10 years in the sport - a 470-match winning streak from January 2003 until her retirement - and finished her career with 42 Grand Slam titles, 22 year-end Championships and seven Paralympic titles, made up of four singles and three doubles titles.
“As a former elite athlete, I know how important it is that everything around you is well taken care of. I want to make sure that the whole operation runs smoothly, so that the athletes can fully focus on their sports and their performance. That’s what it’s all about.’’
Maurits Hendriks, technical director at the Dutch Olympic Committee, said: “We are very pleased with the appointment of Esther. It is important that we can connect figureheads like Esther to our teams. After PyeongChang, we will evaluate with Esther, but we have the intention to go to Tokyo 2020 together as well.’’