Today, on August 15th, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. I’m checked in and on my way to Tokyo. Alongside my support team (Lumen, Johan, and Boris) and fellow table tennis player Frederique, we are currently aboard the flight to Japan for an acclimatization period. The official opening of the Paralympic Games is scheduled for August 24th, and on Wednesday, August 25th, I will be competing in my first match.
It’s bound to be an exciting journey once again. I’ve prepared myself thoroughly, but the same holds true for all my competitors. At the Paralympic Games, just like the Olympic Games, every participant arrives at the starting line with maximum preparation. A challenge we face is the fact that there have been hardly any international tournaments over the past year and a half, making it impossible to predict the form of other participants. Therefore, it remains crucial to focus on playing and performing from my own strengths.
I am aware that everyone sees me as the clear favorite. However, when we look at the results of the Olympic Games, I must acknowledge that more favorites failed to achieve their ultimate goal than those who met the high expectations. Personally, I do not place excessive pressure on myself. I aim to fully relish my fourth participation in the Paralympic Games and strive to give my utmost.
Once the final schedule is released, I will share it with everyone, so those who are interested can follow my matches through the livestream, likely provided by NOS. I will keep you all updated on the developments.