Marijn de Vries: If I Could Tell You One Thing…
Marijn de Vries is a journalist, cyclist and undisputed queen of the She-pee on a bike. Here, she shares the most valuable piece of wisdom she has ever received...
Feisty and always funny, Marijn took up cycling when working as a sports reporter and documented her efforts to turn pro at 30 after meeting some male riders in a pub as part of a radio documentary. The best advice she ever received was from Dutch cycling superstar and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Leontien van Moorsel.
“When I started cycling and considered racing, I interviewed Leontien. I was 30 years old and had just started my experiment to discover the answer to the question: ‘Can you still become a pro athlete, even if you’re in your thirties?’
“She said: ‘If your heart tells you to do this now, you should really go for it. Otherwise you will regret it later in your life. Better to try and not succeed, than to not try at all.’ This was the last push to really throw myself into it. I don’t know if she remembers telling me this, but I will forever.
“One year later, after my first season in the peloton for a club team, she asked me to join her UCI-team and that’s where the adventure really started. It was not just her saying to me to follow my heart, but also her having faith in me. Without Leontien, I wouldn’t have had the cycling career I had. I’m still very thankful to her.”
Get more great nuggets from Marijn here
Illustration: James Carey