Marit Bouwmeester is a sailor. At the Olympic Games, one color medal is enough. Friezin (33 years old) will not accept anything less than gold. She took silver at London 2012 Games, and then became Olympic champion in Laser Radial four-years later in Rio de Janeiro.
“As a top-level athlete, you don’t need to train all that hard to be the best. Bouwmeester believes it is nice to simply say that she’s going for gold. She has since made it the place where it must happen. You can consider it her second home.
Bouwmeester won the Rio 2016 gold medal. She flew to Japan shortly after to explore Enoshima Bay. “A lot athletes went on vacation. I went there to see what the 2020 Olympic champion would be like.”
Four-time world champion, she spent several weeks at the Olympic sailing venue in order to learn about the water, the weather, assess the facilities, and find housing. Except for last year, she returned often to Enoshima. This was impossible due to the corona crises at that time.
“In 2017, 2018, and 2019, I was there for at least two to three months. To prepare for the Games, I skipped preparations for the World Cup in 2018 and the European Championship in 2019. While I didn’t win the European Championship and World Cup in that year, I am super content with the time I have spent here.
“Train as a bodybuilder.”
- The Olympic clothing that Marit Bouwmeester received from NOC*NSF had to be exchanged for a size larger. Because she had different equipment at the boat, she has been training hard. “I’m about 5-6kg heavier than I was in Rio. This is mainly due to muscle mass. I feel stronger than ever and more fit. It was a lot food, and I trained as bodybuilder for a few seasons. Switch because I didn’t want Tokyo to feel like a roulade.
“Have written down all information for the job”
Bouwmeester wrote pages of detailed information on the six ‘race tracks’ that were planned off the coast of Enoshima. This peninsula is more than an hours drive from Tokyo. Roelof, her coach and brother, captured hundreds of hours on the water.
“Sailing is still all about “going with what you see”. You also need to be aware of what is possible, or at the very least what cannot happen. Your tactics should be adjusted accordingly. Bouwmeester admitted that she has compiled all information for each job. She also admits to being obsessive about preparation. She knows all about the Olympic venue, including currents, winds directions, and tides.
“I am going after gold, but it’s not worth talking about it all of the time. I’m focused on the process. Although I have had great preparation, it is still sport. It’s impossible to predict how it will end. It’s a good idea to not plan ahead and just sail. This also has its benefits. However, I believe that performing under pressure is more effective the more you do it.
Bouwmeester’s first two races are set for next Sunday. She hopes to be back in the water after the medal race with a silver medal around her neck.