Location: Athens, Beijing, Sochi, London, Rio
Willem Alexander of Orange, Dutch King
My motto during my Olympic adventures is to be 12. Just old enough to understand some things in live. But young enough to dream & fantasise. And just being enthusiastic.
Our Dutch King, Willem Alexander van Oranje is a true fan of the Olympic movement. For many years he has played an important role as a UCI member. Becoming King of the Netherlands has forced him to quit that lifetime job. But it has not kept him away from the Games. He joins in, with or without his family, for almost all Olympics.
We watched him witnessing historical moments in Dutch sports; the golden Water polo women in Beijing, Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s victory in the 100m freestyle swimming in London and the hockey ladies at the top of the Olympic mountain in Beijing and London.
The last Olympics also the family of the King is joining him in his adventures. During the (lost) final hockey women in Rio 2016 we saw our future Queen Amalia putting her head in her hands with sorrow. No gold, but ‘only’ silver. Our royals have enough silverware.
We make it a challenge to get the King’s attention once every Games. It started in 2004 Athens where he remarked our presence for the first time. And in Beijing, London and Rio we got a similar reaction most of the times on camera. Silly? For sure. Fun? For sure. In the end we are all sports fans and we know that Willem Alexander is a real one. His exaltation after the Volleyball men won gold in Atlanta in 1996 was the biggest proof. He was UCI member at that time and future King, but most of all, he was just 12 again😉. He is our Olympic King!