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2022 will go down in history as a year full of shining golden moments for Irene Schouten. After winning three gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the queen of the Olympic tournament got married to her now husband Dirkjan today, on the 18th of June.

The spacious fruit garden of Dirkjan Mak’s parents in Blokker was the perfect place for the happy couple to create an enchanting atmosphere full of flowers and lights in a white fairytale tent. The West Frisian couple had already expressed their wish to marry in their own surroundings. The region where they met. “Of course, this is extra special for me to be able to place a ring on Irene’s finger among the trees where I once played and picked fruit,” stated the groom.

The first page of this fairy tale was written back in 2017. Before that, they knew each other from fairs and mutual friends. This may have influenced their first date because their friends had already said that they would be a good match. So, it came down to a first date, and the spark was immediately there. Many will remember the moment that shortly after winning a golden medal after an extraordinary race, interviewed live by the NOS, Irene saw her fiancé on the phone and spontaneously responded with a beaming smile. “Hi sweetheart, I’m being interviewed by the NOS right now.” And then immediately clarified: “My fiancé Dirkjan.”

Dirkjan Mak, a contractor in daily life, was warmly introduced to the skating loving Netherlands. Engaged in 2020 and now, in an atmospheric environment that many will dream of a big wedding party with about 250 guests. “The guest list was perhaps even more difficult to arrange than setting record times on the ice”, Irene laughs. “Maybe it’s a good thing in hindsight, because there’s a lot involved.” Since the successes, both are in the spotlight, and the list of supporters grows ever longer. In that respect, the impressive, festive reception in Wervershoof after the Olympic Games is still fresh in our minds. A warm welcome that was well deserved in view of all the efforts and fantastic results.

Surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones, a future full of surprises beckons, which the happy couple look forward to with confidence. The list of invited guests naturally included members of the skating team and also former skaters. When asked if there were any other special people who could witness this special moment, Irene’s purely formulated words leave only one answer: “On this beautiful day, all the guests are equally special to us.”

Photos made by Roxan Fotografie