Maarten van der Weijden is an Olympic swimming champion and has won gold for the 10 kilometers open water event at the Olympics in Beijing 2008. In 2001 Maarten found out that he has cancer and was forced to take two years out to survive the disease. At one stage he was not expected to survive. Contrary to Lance Armstrong, the cancer surviving Tour de France biker, Van der Weijden doesn’t agree that only positive thinking and lot’s of sports have saved him.
‘I even think it’s dangerous because it implies that if you are not a positive thinker all the time you lose.’ says Van der Weijden.
Maarten van der Weijden
Maarten van der Weijden is a former Dutch long distance and marathon swimmer who won a golden medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 (open water swimming, 10km). In 2001 he was diagnosed with cancer (leukemia) and at one point he wasn’t expected to survive. After being in the hospital for half a year for chemotherapy, surgery and a stamcelltransplantation, Maarten had the luck to recover and became a professional swimmer again.
On August 21 2008, Maarten won the golden medal at the 10km in Beijing. After winning the gold, Maarten realised he reached the highest goal he could achieve in swimming and retired. He started giving inspirational speakings and wrote a book about his road to success. In 2010 Maarten started working as a financial manager for Unilever and is currently working for Unilever in Jakarta (Indonesia).