The Paralympic Winter Games started on Friday. Today (Sunday 6 March) and maybe tomorrow (final) the Hague snowboarder Renske van Beek will come into action.
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We spoke to Renske 2018 just before the Olympics back then. There she finished fourth in the snowboardcross and banked slalom. Here’s a replay of that interview. Good luck Renske!
We spoke to Renske at Caesar Sport in The Hague, where she regularly swims in the pool. Renske explains why she participates in the Paralympic Games and not the ‘normal’ Olympic Games: “When I 02 year had had a stroke that left the left side of my body paralyzed.” Thanks to the many sports Renske can walk without aids, only everything works just a little differently than with an able-bodied person.
“I come from a winter sports family. Due to the stroke I could no longer ski. When I wanted to turn the corner, my left leg just went forward. So then I went snowboarding,” says the optimistic sportswoman. When everything seemed to be going better, disaster struck again. “When I was 10 year, I was kicked by a truck.” Renske was on her way to school when she cycled into the blind spot of a truck. This one ran over her. Renske had broken her left leg and all her knee ligaments were torn. “I immediately wanted to snowboard again, but that winter I couldn’t go on a winter sports holiday. I then went to a sports physiotherapist and a year later I was back on a board at the Uithof.”
After high school, Renske studied communication and she also regularly went on winter sports holidays. “One day I received a message from the rehabilitation center. Bibian Mentel went there to give a lecture. She is the most famous para snowboarder in the Netherlands.” After the lecture, Renske came into contact with Bibian and eventually she started taking snowboard lessons with her. Renske now snowboards in the category ‘lower limb 2’, limitation below the knee. “My head sends signals too slowly to my left leg, which makes it very difficult to overcome obstacles. In addition, I have a disadvantage in this category, because my left arm hardly works. I struggle with finding my balance.” Concentration is also a weak point. “Since the stroke, I can concentrate less well. I once had that I flew out in the last corner.”