Dutch gymnast Noel Van Klaveren first caught our eyes at 2013 European championships when she won a silver on vault with one of the most beautiful twisting forms. Her medal was the first European medal for women's Dutch gymnastics since Suzanne Harmes in 2005.

 In our exclusive interview with her, she talks upgrades and her father's health.

Gigi: You have trained an Amanar, are you still training this vault? 

Noel: Yes, that's right! In the run-up to the European Championships, it was important that I had both vaults back (Editor comment: she means having her DTY and round off half on half out back). In addition, I often practiced the Amanar. After the European Chanpionships,which has now ended. I'm going to be preparing for it.

Gigi: When are you going to debut it?

Noel: At the World Championships in Glasgow , I will do it in the competition, hopefully I will be ready for it.

Gigi: Are there any other upgrades you are working on?

Noel: On bars I have a whole new program, with a high D-score. For the upcoming Worlds, I am training to establish consistent bar routine with high difficulty.

On beam I am working on improving my side aerial to LOSO which I have already competed. I am training two somersaults. I am training a full twisting back tuck. Hopefully I will upgrade my beam dismount from two and a half twisting back layout to a triple twisting layout.

On floor, I am training triple full and double layout, and maybe in the future I will train a full twisting double layout.

(Editor comment; beam; full twisting back tuck (F), a 2.5 twisting layout (D), triple twisting layout (F) - triple full (E), double layout (F), full twisting double layout (H) )

Gigi: The gyminternet was saddened to hear about your father diagnosis with cancer, how is he doing? 

Noel: My father is doing well. Treatment has gone well for him. I am really so happy. My whole family and I were very scared, but he has overcome the serious illness.

Gigi: Life is full of hardships and disappointments and you have had your share yet you are here, still competing and moving on with your life, how do you do it and what do you have to say to gymnasts and other people who are going through a rough time?

Noel: When I first heard that my father was sick, my whole world fell apart. I didn't know what to do in such a rough time. All I knew was that I just wanted be with my family. Gymnastics was not on my mind. My mind could not keep up, all I was thinking about was my father's health.

I knew that I was not done with gymnastics yet,0 but it was on the back burner. The health of my father was at that time my first priority. My father was telling me over and over again, "Go to Amsterdam, go workout, this is what you prefer to do every day, what you love doing."

" I am fine go ahead, it will turn out all right in the end ". 

After over thinking the whole thing, I slowly started to get back to my normal life. If things went better with my father, it went better with me and life went on. Look at us now, a happy family and a healthy dad.

Gigi: In gymnastics, what is your goal?

Noel: Of course my goal is to make the Olympics in Rio, and hopefully I can make the finals.

Gigi: What are you planning to do after retirement?

Noel: I would like to be a gymnastics coach and coach my girls to the top, or maybe a personal fitness trainer.

Gigi: Who are the gymnasts you admire and look up to? 

Noel: I look up to Romania gymnast Larisa Iordache, I love her style, It's beautiful and powerful.

Gigi: Tell us something we don't know about you?

Noel: What you may not know about me is that I watch gymnastics videos on Youtube every day because it inspires me to face new challenges.

Gigi: What is the sweetest thing a fan said to you?

Noel: My fans tell me that they look up to me, so nice to hear that! As a little girl I looked up to the gymnasts, and now I'm a famous gymnast! And I'm super sweet to all my fans.

Gigi: We have been seeing a lot of success from the Dutch gymnastics lately, is gymnastics getting popular in your country?

Noel: Yes indeed it is beginning to become more and more popular in Netherlands because of our good performance! 

Gigi: What is your second favorite and least favorite apparatus?

Noel: My second favorite apparatus is floor. I like to tumble. And my least favorite is bars, although I am getting better and better on this apparatus, it is still a difficult one for me.

Interview by Gigi Khazback Farid



WOGymnastikA is a blog turned website which brings you the latest updates on women’s artistic gymnastics as well as exclusive interviews with your favorite gymnasts. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us on wogymnastika@gmail.com .


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