Twin Van Der Velden (NED), a life between masters and coaching after the Olympics
In artistic swimming Bianca and Sonja Van Der Velden are the favourites in the masters competition of the 40-49 category. After representing the Netherlands in the duet events at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and at Beijing 2008, the 46-year-old twins have embarked on a career as synchronised swimming coaches in the United States where they live, to pass on their many years of experience and passion to younger people. "I have always liked the diversity, strength, elegance, theatricality and performance of artistic swimming," Bianca said. "We now coach at the Santa Clara Aquamaids in California. I like telling my athletes to never give up and to find the courage to follow their own path, always giving the best of themselves.”
"We learned to swim at the age of 3. In the pool where we were training we saw artistic swimmers. At 7 we started practising the sport and we haven't stopped since. We were in the Dutch national team from 1991 to 2008.” she said.
After their competitive careers were over, the twins decided to take up master competitions. “We decided to follow our passion and went back to competing. We had already swum in Rome, at the 1994 world championships. Returning to this city and this facility as masters, is amazing,” Sonja said.
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