Sanne and Vincent Wevers. Photograph: Sanne Wevers on Facebook
Three trophies were awarded to gymnastics Wednesday night, 21 December, at the Dutch Olympic Committee-Dutch Sport Federation's year-end gala in Amsterdam. Sanne Wevers won Sportswoman of the Year, her coach and father Vincent Wevers won Coach of the Year, and Sanne’s teammate Eythora Thorsdottir won Young Talent of the Year.
The winners are selected by Dutch journalists.
Sanne Wevers, 25, won the balance beam title at the Olympic Games this summer in Rio with a nearly flawless, unique routine. She was the first ever Dutch female gymnast to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
‘It’s fantastic to be able to receive this great prize,’ Wevers told the audience at the RAI Arena. ‘It was a great year in which I lived up to my dream. My heart is through the roof here. As a little girl, I’d always dreamed I’d be able to make it to the Olympics, a dream all gymnasts hope. In Rio I got emotional the day before the [balance beam] final. I realised that everything was worth it: all the sacrifices and work. Everything had been a success.’
Sanne Wevers is the sixth Dutch gymnast to win the Sportswoman of the Year title, after Klaas Boot (1959), Ans van Gerwen (1972), Verona van de Leur (2002), Yuri van Gelder (2005) and Epke Zonderland (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013).
Sanne’s father Vincent Wevers won for Coach of the Year. Wevers coached his daughters Sanne and Lieke, as well as the rest of the Dutch team to a historic Olympic qualification. At the Olympics, the Dutch team qualified for the team final for the first time ever and finished seventh. Lieke Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottir also qualified for the all around final. Thorsdottir finished ninth and Wevers finished twentieth.
‘[This is] a very special honour,’ said Vincent Wevers, who especially thanked his daughters. ‘You’d be lucky just to coach two athletes like that every day. Therefore I’m twice as lucky because I’m also their father.’
The Dutch team in Rio. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni
Finally, Eythora Thorsdottir, 18, won the award as Young Talent of the Year. Thorsdottir’s ninth-place finish in the all around is the best ever result by a Dutch woman in the all around at the Olympic Games. Thorsdottir is known for her exceptionally elegant gymnastics, and is one of the most promising gymnasts in the Netherlands.
F1 car racer Max Verstappen won Sportsman of the Year. Women’s rowing duo Maaike Head and Ilse Paulis, the Olympic and European champions, won Team of the Year; and swimmer Liesette Bruinsma won Paralympic Athlete of the Year.
By Talitha IlacquaAdvertisement