Yesterday our OG Hero Femke Kok qualified in the 500 meters for the Olympics Winter Games in Beijing. During the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Heerenveen, Kok finished first with a time of 37.30 seconds.
All or nothing
Last Sunday Kok was "disappointed in herself" when she failed to qualify in the 1000 meters for the Olympics in Bejing. She finished 6th on Sunday. This left Kok dependent on the 500 meters to qualify for her first-ever Olympics.
"Actually I was very aggressive at the start today. I felt so bad about the 1000 meters. I just had to win here."
Kok adds that she would have been more nervous for the 500 meters when the 1000 meters had gone well. "Today it was all or nothing for me." In her first race, Kok immediately clocked the fastest time of that round. With 37.45 seconds, she stayed 0.20 seconds ahead of her biggest rival Jutte Leerdam, which provided some relief. In the final race, both Kok and Leerdam improved themselves, but Kok still managed to qualify first in the matrix with an impressive time of 37.30 seconds.
The art of not dwelling in disappointment
Directly after the disappointing 1000 meter race, Kok drove straight home on the advice of her coach Michel Mulder. "Immediately after that race I had the urge to smash things to pieces. However, that would have been wasted energy which I had to save for the 500 meters."
Instead of sulking, Kok decided to blow off some steam at her parents. She looked for a shoulder to cry on and found it there. "The trick was to not get caught up in the disappointment" she said. "My parents have always been very positive and sportsmanlike. Like other people around me, they cheer me up. And that's nice."
After visiting her parents, Kok came to the conclusion that the first 600 meters of the 1000 had been excellent, and therefore a good foundation for the 500 meters.
“Thats when I was able to let it go and focus on the 500 meters.”