It is certainly a good year for aquatic athletes. Many know Michael Phelps was recently selected as Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. Similar to his fellow Dutch open water swimmer, Edith van Dijk who won the Dutch Female Sporter of the Year in 2005, Maarten van der Weijden has been nominated for the prestigious award Dutch Male Sporter of the Year in 2008. The Netherlands Olympic Committee will give the Jaap Eden Sports Awards in a gala in Amsterdam on December 16th.
After his unbelievably inspirational and courageous efforts at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Sevilla, Spain where he won the 25K championships, and his gold medal performance in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, the post-Olympic acclaim has been nearly non-stop for Maarten.
Photo by Pei Qingsheng shows Maarten patiently taking a good long drink during the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim where Maarten's methodical and tactical approach to preparation, hydration, drafting, positioning around the turn buoys and his tremendous final sprint led to the ultimate athletic success.