Tristan Olij (21) is willing to give everything to become a professional triathlete. He recently dropped out of college to focus on his biggest dreams: The Olympic Games and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
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We met Tristan after the triathlon in Schagen when we congratulated him with his first place in the race.
You have recently dropped out of college and are training full time. Are your parents supportive?
“Fortunately, they are. My parents have given me the chance to become a professional triathlete within three or four years. For me, the highest goal is the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Secretly I hope to take part in the Olympic Games too, but that is not easy.”
Dream big, right?
“Yes! I give everything during training sessions and competitions and I’m sacrificing things. At parties, for example, I don’t drink alcohol. That’s not a problem for me at all because I knew what I was getting into and I enjoy the training.”
How do you mentally prepare for a competition?
“I visualise my matches many times to make sure I know the course, I know what to do at what point in the race and I know how to beat my opponents. When there is a game near home, I get nervous sometimes because people have certain expectations of me. Despite the nerves, I always know exactly what to do.”
Do your competitions sometimes end up differently than you expected?
“Luckily not! I have not had any unpleasant misfortunes of injuries yet. I know my body so well because of this sport, therefore I can predict the results while doing my training sessions. If I have done my training well and my materials are fine, I have the confidence to reach my goal.”
Do you think you’re going to pick up your studies?
“If it is possible to become a pro triathlete, I can still pick up my studies. But, I try to keep myself busy with competitions.”
Right now, Tristan is training for the national championships. You can follow him on Instagram @tristanolij.
Interview by Melissa van Ketel