Almost ten years after his Olympic gold race in Beijing, Maarten van der Weijden went swimming in the Elfstedentocht. 200 kilometers of swimming. Just go on. And this, of course, to raise money (now well over 1 million euros) for research into cancer.
He had to finish in Leeuwarden tonight. But unfortunately, after 163 kilometers and 55 hours of swimming, he had to stop his trip on the advice of his personal medical team. “It was medically no longer justified,” is read at the NOS, which has fully reported on this great achievement. But the performance remains just as good! WHAT A HERO is Maarten van der Weijden.
Maarten could literally be followed 24 hours a day, with a 360-degree camera on the YouTube channel of the NOS. Over the past few days there has been a good overview of how much support there was from Friesland and actually the whole of the Netherlands, but also how heavy he sometimes had. Not only the distance is bizarre, but also a few nights without a good night’s sleep has a big impact.
The intended finish day, as it was communicated beforehand, he did not make it. Riding 200 kilometers in three days and two nights in a row also proves to be a spice for an Olympic open water swimming champion.
Nothing but praise
Of course he receives nothing but praise for his achievement. 200 kilometers would have been fantastic if he had made it. But that 163 kilometers is also an unprecedented achievement. This is something that, for the time being, nobody is going to do after him. The reactions flow through the hastag #elfstedenzwemtocht . Below a short overview!