Elze Geurts: “My goal is to make it to Paris”

An unfortunate moment almost a year ago during a training session. Elze Geurts remembers it precisely. She recalls that moment whilst drinking a fresh cappuccino at a trendy coffeehouse in Amsterdam. “When landing after a jump, I unfortunately tore my anterior cruciate ligament whilst training for the vault.”

Surgery followed and the gymnast from Turnz Amsterdam started a long rehabilitation process. As a result, she missed the World Championships in Liverpool, where the Dutch team showed the world that another talented team is ready for the Olympic Games next year in Paris. Elze Geurts hopes to be there, because before the unfortunate fall during the training session, the trainee doctor appeared to be on the right path. She travelled to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as reserve gymnast and she was placed 8th during the vault final during the World Championships in Kitakyûshû, Japan. Her serious knee injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. On TV, she saw the Dutch gymnasts perform surprisingly well in Liverpool last autumn and Elze would have loved to have been there.

The rehabilitation has already worked well. After a ‘blood, sweat and tears’ process, Elze rejoined the national selection for a tough training camp in Dubai.

"It’s going well. The training camp also went well. It is now 10 months since my anterior cruciate ligament surgery and I have been given the green light to use my knee for everything again. I’m back in training and slowly getting into shape for competitions, so that’s actually going very well. I’ve also set very clear goals for myself this season: to make it to both the European and the World Championships."  (Elze Geurts)

Is that achievable, with you saying: “I’m not yet fit enough for competitions”?

"No, I’m not yet fit enough for competitions but the European Championships are in mid April, so there’s a little time yet. I think it’s achievable. Of course, we have a very strong team. There are 7 women in the Orange selection. In addition, Sanne Wevers has also said that she will try for ‘Paris’ again. Maybe she’ll join the selection, so we’d then have 8 very strong athletes and the team should get results from that."

Did it surprise you that last season went so well? Especially at the World Championships with 6 in the final places?

"No, it didn’t surprise me. I know the athletes, I know what they are capable of and the result was as it should be. I can understand the surprise in the outside world. There’s been a lot of fuss in terms of the world of gymnastics and the focus has been on that. Meanwhile, the athletes continued to train hard and we saw the results of that."

During the training sessions, Elze Geurts uses Push Sports ankle braces and is very enthusiastic about them.

"I use the braces during training to slightly reduce the impact of the various jumps that I make, which is a protective element, as this enables me to do a lot of repetitions without my body having to suffer from that."

What makes Push Sports braces different from other braces?

"My impression is that they move slightly more with the body, they are a little more flexible and that is definitely needed in gymnastics. You have to be able to perform your full ‘range of motion’ in your movements, otherwise you can’t do gymnastics. They are more forgiving in terms of the movements, but I also have the impression that they still have a protective effect."

How important is a good brace?

"Someone’s idea of a good brace will differ, of course, between athletes. In any case, for me the brace is very important, because staying fit is the most important thing at the present time and small mistakes can have large consequences, so every extra percent of additional reinforcement is of help."

Interview in collaboration with the KNGU.

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