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Athletes

Femke
Heemskerk
NetherlandsNetherlands, NED
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
21 September 1987
Height
180 cm
Family
Husband Guido
Residence
Eindhoven, NED
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Dutch, English, French
Higher education
Sport Management - Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Netherlands

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age nine at the Z&PC Alkemade club in the Netherlands.
Why this sport?
She was inspired by the results of Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In the same year she met coach Sjaak Juffermans, who saw she was a talented swimmer. "I really liked being in the water, even before I started swimming. I love the sensation of the water and the feeling that you can pull yourself forward."
Club / Team
HPC Eindhoven: Netherlands
Name of coach
Marcel Wouda [personal, national], NED
Training Regime
She trains up to 20 hours a week in the water.

International Debut

Year
2005
Competing for
Netherlands
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Montreal, QC, CAN

General Interest

Nicknames
Femmie, Fem (Athlete, 11 Mar 2007)
Hobbies
Dining, reading, music, dancing, spending time with family and friends. (Facebook page, 04 Jun 2019)
Hero / Idol
Dutch swimmer Marleen Veldhuis, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer. (Athlete, 10 Jul 2015; excellesports.com, 20 Jun 2016)
Injuries
In April 2018 she was due to compete at the Swim Cup in Eindhoven, Netherlands, but she withdrew as a result of stomach issues. (Facebook profile, 10 Apr 2018)

She was affected by shoulder, groin and knee injuries ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (evajinek.kro-ncrv.nl, 27 Jun 2017)

In 2014 she sustained an injury to her left shoulder during the KNZB Challenger in Dordrecht, Netherlands, and missed the 2014 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, as a result. (volkskrant.nl, 31 Jul 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"It always seems impossible, until it's done." (Athlete, 10 Jul 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named Best Sportswoman of Amsterdam in 2008 and 2009, and became a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2009. (femkeheemskerk.nl, 02 Dec 2010)

She was part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team that was named the 2009 Dutch Sports Team of the Year. (femkeheemskerk.nl, 01 Jan 2015; olympischsporterfgoed.nl, 01 Jan 2015)
Milestones
She was a member of the Dutch women's 4x100m freestyle relay team that won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the first Dutch gold medal in the event since 1936. (olympischsporterfgoed.nl, 01 Oct 2012; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (nu.nl, 02 Oct 2018)
Other information
RUSH WEDDING
She married Guido Frackers in March 2020 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, a few months ahead of their planned wedding. The wedding was brought forward due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact she would not be allowed over the US border as Frackers' fiancee. "A global crisis almost ensured that we couldn't be together. We got married on a Tuesday in Vancouver in a coffee shop. We got married six months earlier than planned. I was wearing a jogging suit and sweater, as I only had training clothes with me. Our witnesses were two people waiting for their coffee." (swimswam.com, 05 Apr 2020)

RETIREMENT THOUGHTS
She considered retiring from competitive swimming after the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, but the four silver medals she won at the event encouraged her to carry on with a view to competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "I hear jokes, granny this and granny that. But that is not an issue for me. It is just how you feel yourself. I do not feel 31." (volkskrant.nl, 07 Dec 2018; nu.nl, 02 Oct 2018)

SWITCHING COACHES
In 2015 she moved to France to train with coach Philippe Lucas, a move she admitted was a gamble so close to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After not qualifying for the final of the 100m freestyle or 200m freestyle in Rio de Janeiro, she split with coach Lucas in August 2016. In January 2017 she announced that she would work with Marcel Wouda again, having been coached by him earlier in her career. "I used the period after the Olympic Games in Rio to think where and with whom I want to continue my career. I am very excited about our cooperation and we are confident we will get the most out of it." (nos.nl, 23 Jan 2017, 22 Aug 2016, 09 Aug 2016; pedalamagazine.nl, 18 Nov 2016; ad.nl, 22 Aug 2016)

DOCUMENTARY
She was one of the Dutch swimmers to feature in the documentary 0.03 Seconds, about their preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and their performances at the event. (metronieuws.nl, 12 Apr 2017)

FURTHER STUDIES
In 2019 she began studying for a master's degree in coaching at the Johan Cruyff Institute. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2019)

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