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Renske van Beek

Renske van Beek

Snowboard

The Dutch snowboarder shined in her World Cup season debut in 2015-16, winning both the women’s snowboard-cross and the banked slalom SB-UL to finish first in the overall rankings.

The 27-year-old took up the sport in 2015, inspired by compatriot and Paralympic gold medallist Bibian Mentel-Spee.

Van Beek took up snowboard at the age of 10 after a stroke left the left side of her body paralysed, hoping to snowboard as fast as her brothers and sister.

At the start of 2016-17 season Beek was reclassified to the women's SB-LL2 where she will face the likes of Paralympic champion and double Worlds gold medallist Bibian Mentel-Spee.

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL2

Further personal information

Residence
The Hague, NED
Occupation
Communications Professional
Languages
Dutch, English, German
Higher education
Communications, Marketing - ROC Mondriaan: The Hague, NED

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para snowboarding at age 10 after recovering from her stroke. Her first experience was in Austria, and she later developed her skills on an indoor ski slope.
Why this sport?
She used to ski prior to her stroke and wanted to take up another snow sport. She loved extreme sports and snowboarding was her favourite. "I couldn't ski properly anymore after the stroke and I always thought snowboarding was cooler. I discovered snowboarding is a sport that doesn't affect my disability."
Name of coach
Pepijn van Schijndel [national], NED; Hansjoerg Berger [national]
Training Regime
In 2014 she took up skateboarding, which she says doubles as snowboarding training. "I really like skateboarding because it really looks like snowboarding, standing sideways, making your turns on the ramps. I think it really helps me to improve my snowboarding."

International debut

Year
2015
Competing for
Netherlands

General interest

Nicknames
Renzie (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Hobbies
Skateboarding, surfing. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Finishing second in banked slalom at the 2021 World Cup event in Hochfugen, Austria. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022; db.ipc-services.org, 19 Dec 2021)
Most influential person in career
Dutch Para snowboarder Bibian Mentel. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
US surfer Bethany Hamilton, Dutch Para snowboarder Bibian Mentel. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Injuries
At age 15 she injured the ligaments in her left knee after she was involved in a car accident. (Athlete, 20 Mar 2017)

She has broken her arm and dislocated her shoulder during her snowboarding career. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I want to get the best out of myself and be happy with the ride." (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Instagram profile, 31 Oct 2021)
Impairment
Her left arm and left leg are paralysed as the result of a stroke at age 10. (Burton Europe YouTube channel, 21 Oct 2021; Paralympic Games YouTube channel, 08 Feb 2018)
Other information
ADAPTIVE BOARD CHICKS
In April 2019 she and fellow Dutch Para snowboarder Lisa Bunschoten launched Adaptive Board Chicks, a series of training camps for female Para snowboarders that take place in various locations in Europe. "The idea of the Adaptive Board Chicks came when we were with all the female competitors in La Molina, Spain. There, we discussed the fact that there weren't any other female riders, and that was a big problem for the sport. So, we discussed it with a few girls from America, Canada and other countries to come up with a solution to get more female riders. I don't think Para snowboard is really out there yet. It's not like everybody knows us and it's still such a small sport. We can really grow and be a bigger sport. Snowboard is helping me to grow as a person and to be the best version of myself, to do something really cool and be part of something cool. Now [speaking in early 2020] I'm at that point that I can share snowboarding and that feels so, so good." (teamusa.org, 21 Apr 2021; Adaptive Board Chicks Instagram profile, 11 May 2020; paralympic.org, 06 Apr 2020)

OCCUPATION
She works as a communications officer at a medical rehabilitation company in The Hague, Netherlands. "My job is to motivate and inspire people with a disability to get moving and work on their health." (LinkedIn profile, 15 Nov 2021; Burton Europe YouTube channel, 21 Oct 2021; sneeuwsportleraren.nl, 25 Jan 2022)

FURTHER EDUCATION
After studying at ROC Mondriaan in The Hague, Netherlands, she studied communications and multimedia design at The Hague University of Applied Sciences from 2009 to 2010. (LinkedIn profile, 15 Nov 2021)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2017 IPC Snowboard World Championships Big White, CAN (Big White, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Race 1 2017-02-04 4
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Race 1 2017-02-07 5
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-12 4
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-16 4
Pyha 2019 World Para Snowboard Championships (Pyha, Finland)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Race 1 2019-03-27 5
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Race 1 2019-03-30 4