The arrival of Ireen Wüst at Reggeborgh, the best Dutch speed skater ever, was settled in a curse and a sigh. That is what head coach Gerard van Velde said in an interview with De CCeit.
I don’t remember exactly how it went. Somebody had asked her what she was going to do, it ended up with someone else and then the idea arose to take her in. Also because the Wessels family (owners of Reggeborgh, ed.) think she’s a fantastic driver, says Van Velde about the head woman who will wear Reggeborgh‘s green and white until the Beijing Winter Olympics and then stop.
Ireen didn’t want to be on the team with her friend Letitia, but didn‘t feel like having to be without a sponsor again. Well, if you can skate nicely with this team in the autumn of your career, that’s fine. I did tell her: it‘s not just performance. You also have to be a role model for the young people, like Femke Kok. Wasn’t a problem at all; that‘s what she wanted too
Van Velde saw Jutta Leerdam, the sensation of last skating season, leave Reggeborgh. Had to hear that Dai Dai N’tab switched to Jumbo-Visma, followed shortly afterwards by Kai Verbij. But with Ireen Wüst and Kjeld Nuis, the head coach got world leaders in return. Ah, yes, that‘s the way things are, isn’t it?