Powerlifting pro Melaica Tuinfort returned from Rio with the Dutch Paralympic team this afternoon. The RBS student sees her Paralympic Games adventure as a fun and successful experience.
Melaica’s podium in Rio
The first week of the games was, of course, dominated by the day on which Melaica competed. She won a bronze medal in the over 86 kg category. This didn’t come as such a surprise but Melaica now looks back on it with pride. ‘I just barely missed the silver medal, which is unfortunate but I did achieve my goal (bronze, as gold was unrealistic, ed.), so I’m happy.’ Especially since it was a very close competition for second, third and fourth place. ‘Despite that, I managed to stay relatively calm and focused,’ says Melaica.
Encouragement and consolation
The student of Fiscal Law and Economics was able to get out and about in Rio on the days following the competition, on Wednesday last week. ‘I visited the statue of Christ the Redeemer and also went shopping,’ says Melaica, who also attended other sporting events and spent time with her compatriots. ‘I managed to see table tennis, powerlifting, athletics, swimming and wheelchair basketball. The atmosphere among the Dutch team was fun and congenial. We all encouraged each other and, when necessary, consoled each other; we got to know each other very well.’
The so-called Holland Lounge was a good place to do so. ‘It was nice to have a place to hang out with the other athletes,’ says Melaica.
Time for a rest
The Dutch Paralympic team travelled to Utrecht via Schiphol this afternoon, where the athletes are due to be honoured. ‘After that, I’m taking a break,’ says Melaica. ‘And in October I’m starting an internship at De Rotterdamse Zaak.’