Interview with Amy Siemons
We have asked our ambassador Amy Siemons a series of questions to find out what was happening during the preparations for the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
1) What did you have to win to be able to take part in the Paralympic Games?
In order to qualify directly for the Paralympic Games I had to win a gold or silver medal at the World Cup in Doha (October 2015). However, because I won a bronze medal, I had to wait for the limit of Olympic athletes to be announced by NOC*NSF. Paralympic athletes are only considered if they have reached the limit, due to the limited number of starting places for the Netherlands. This meant that I had to prove myself repeatedly until the end of the qualifying period with respect to my team mates.
2) What did your preparation look like?
The fact that I had to continue to compete against my team mates for a starting place in Rio meant that I had to take part in many more races in preparation for the Olympics, than I ideally would have done had I won silver or gold at the World Cup. Because of this, I sometimes trained less in order to be fit at the start of a race when I would have preferred to have trained. The team was announced on 21 July and from that date I did exactly what I and my coach considered to be the ideal preparation for the best 100m I could do. This means that I am now training full-time.
3) What are your goals for these Games?
My goal is to hear the national anthem played for me in Rio for first time!
4) What role does nutrition play in order to be optimally prepared for your race(s)?
I try to eat as well as possible and to spread my meals throughout the day. Top sport puts a lot of pressure on your body, so it’s crucial for me to get enough rest and to give my body proper nutrition. On top of this I also take supplements so I can recover more quickly. The faster I recover means that the quality of my training is higher, making me a better athlete which is my top focus.
5) When are your races and do you have a special item that brings you luck? On 30 August we fly to Rio and upon arrival on 1 September we will go directly to the village. The training will be slowly phased back and I will take part in the series on 9 September and the final of the 100m on 10 September.
An item that brings luck .. not really. I make sure I remain consistent in what I do, after all it is this consistency that has brought me to where I am today. Ultimately, it is the environment and the entourage that is special and what I really enjoy, but 100m is and remains 100m and that is how I approach it.
Amy Siemons won two silver medals at the Paralympic Games in London in 2010, but unfortunately just missed out on a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro.