A quick look at Bianca’s statistics: she won every Dutch national championship for 400m hurdles from 2012 through 2017. Still, in 2016, she stopped competing, which she announced during this emotional interview with NOS. She felt like she was stuck, and sports was something she felt she had to do. This prevented her from really enjoying it. Quite simply, she wasn’t sure whether being an athlete was what she wanted most. It takes sacrifices and dedication, both financially, mentally and socially.
After taking this break and doing some soul searching, she was pulled back into sports and felt liberated when running again. She was quick to set her sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A lingering injury hasn’t made things easy for her, and when I spent this afternoon with her she was working hard on recovering, all the while dealing with not being able to even run, let alone jump hurdles. This is the rough and long road to recovery that many professional athletes have to walk.