Vrouwenweek 2021 (14): Nicola Spirig; ze heeft wel wat met Nederland

Nicola Spirig, een grootheid in de triathlonsport; moeder, Olympisch kampioene, 5 x deelname aan de Olympische Spelen, meervoudig Europees Kampioene en een alleskunner. Sinds haar race in Holten 2009 is er zo af en toe contact en wilde Nicola een paar van onze vragen beantwoorden.

There is something between you and the Netherlands. As far as I know you did race once in the Netherland ( European Championship Holten 2009) where you won the title. I remember the beachflags along the course with your photo on it. What do you remember from that race?

That race was a very special one for me! I had just finished the first part of my final exams in my law studies and didnt feel especially fit or ready for the European Championships. But I was extremely glad to be back racing and appreciated my amazing job as a professional triathlete even more after the time of intense studying. The race went really well, I felt much better than expected. when we started running I could keep up with Vanessa Fernandes who at that time was one of the absolute best in the world. Soon I had a 10 second lead and couldn’t believe it but still felt great and could finally win my first European Championships. Europeans had always been very special to me, they were my first international race (Junior Europeans 1998), 1999 I became Junior European Champion while Reto, my husband now, became Elite European Champion at the same time. After Holten I went on to win many more European Championships 🙂

Another link with the Netherlands is you using Deboer wetsuits. How important is Alex and his team for you?

Especially regarding the Sub8 project it is very important to have innovative sponsors like Deboer who are supportive and try to find a way together with myself to do some testing and find and create the fastest possible wetsuit in this case to save energy and gain seconds. Its great to have Alex in my team, apart from having the best wetsuits personally designed for myself it’s also extremely motivating to have such people as support. 

Sub 8 hours in a LD race for women is the issue nowadays. Is that possible in your opion?

I looked at it with my coach and we think that it is extremely difficult and needs very good circumstances as well as a very good athlete. All the pieces of the puzzle have to fit together, which is rarely the case, but then yes, it might be possible. 

 

Being a mother and worldclass atlete. How is that combination done?

It’s a very difficult combination, but I feel very privileged to be able to combine family and sport as its great to have both in my life at the same time. To have three children means there is basically no time for recovery. I think that is the most difficult, to find time for everything, to find a balance between family, training and commitments as a pro athlete while not just running out of energy. But its very rewarding, I also somehow gain energy from the family for my training and I’m going back from my training with new patience and excitement for the time with my kids. I certainly need a lot of support to handle everything, and what is the most important for me is to have been able to change roles with my husband: Reto has the main responsibility for the children, therefore I can leave the house for my training and know that the kids are with someone who loves and cares for them as much as I do, which definitely makes it much easier for me. 

Ruud de Haan

Ruim dertig jaar geleden aangestoken met het triathlonvirus. Als super-recreant races gedaan en door toedoen van Mels de Kievit aan de micro beland en die nooit meer los gelaten. Samen met maatje Wim van den Broek zo veel meer dan 1000 wedstrijden als speaker gedaan. Zo af en toe actief voor Eurosport als commentator bij triathlons.

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