Future champions are easily recognized. Tom den Heijer is one of them. Only at the age of 12, he became a five times Dutch champion. Moreover you recognize future champions by their pleasure, their love for skating and racing and their enthusiasm. Let’s meet Tom, who says “Michel Mulder is my hero.”
Name: Tom den Heijer
Lives: Gouda, Netherlands
Category: P1 boys
Five times Dutch champion
Are you from a skating family:
I have a younger brother Lars, who skates as well. My father skates too, both ice and inline.
When did you start skating?
When I was 8. From 2009 I skate races in our regional competition and since 2 years I skate on national level.
What do you like so much about skating?
Going fast thru corners. And racing other guys, that’s a nice tactical game.
What has been you best performance?
My medals at the Dutch championships this year (5 gold, 1 silver). I was very happy with my 300 meter win. I was the fastest Dutch, that’s very cool!
Who is your hero?
Michel Mulder. He always makes a show when he is racing. For example by excellerating hard in the last few meters or jumping from one to the other side of the track. I really like to watch this.
Do you have rules for wheel sizes in your category?
Yes, 100mm wheels are max. I wanted to skate 100mm wheels, because it rolls better. But I’m small, so 3 wheels are better to save weight. That’s why I choose CadoMotus Transformer skates.
What’s your dream?
To race a championship abroad. I also dream of a good skating track in my home town Gouda.
3rd NK marathon ice 2012
1st NK inline-skate 300m
1st NK inline-skate elimination
1st NK inline-skate 1000m
1st NK Inline-skate points race
2nd NK inline skate 500m
1st NK Inline-skate relay
Father Marco about son Tom:
When Tom started skating, he was 8, we did a tour on natural ice together. We still enjoy skating together, but there is no way I can keep up with his speed anymore!
I love to see Tom’s drive. Every race he is sharp-eyed and he knows when to attack. His will to win helps him a lot.
It’s not my job to chear him, rather slowing him down a bit. What he does like me to do, is to talk about his tactics. He thinks about his plan before the race and like to hear what I think, or hear some encouraging words. Just listening and thinking a long is more imporant than to shout at the track.
He has a very smooth technique. He is small, but his lack of power and length is compensated by technique and leg speed. I enjoy this a lot.
Video of Tom at the Dutch National Championships (Dutch spoken)