Ottobock ambassador

Marlou van Rhijn

She startet her sports career with swimming until she turned 18 years old. She then switched to Para athletics.

From the water to the land

Marlou van Rhijn was born with a fibula aplasie in both legs, which made it impossible to walk while growing up. At the age of five and at the age of 11, first her right leg, then her left leg were amputated, both below the knee.

She successfully started swimming and made it to the World Para Championships in 2006 in Durban, South Africa, and swam several national records.

In 2009, at the age of 18, she changed her sport and became a Para athlete specializing in the 100 and 200 metres.

"The most important thing is to have fun! Think in possibilities, stay positive and enjoy what you do."

Marlou van Rhijn, Para athlete and Ottobock ambassador

Ottobock ambassador Marlou van Rhijn at the Para Athletics World Championship in Doha 2015 (© Getty Images for Ottobock)

Impressed by the support of the audience

Three years later she qualified for the Paralympic Games in London 2012 and won her first Paralympic gold and silver medal on 200 and 100 metres. Four years after that, she won the gold medal in both of her events during the Paralympic Games in Rio.

“London were my first Paralympic Games, with 80.000 people in the stadium, it was an amazing experience. The feeling of support was undescribable. I can't wait to compete in Tokyo where I'll get to defend my title.”

Key facts

  • Nation: Netherlands
  • Year of birth: 1991
  • Sport: Para Athletics – 100 m, 200 m
  • Classification: T62
  • Coach: Paul Wernert
  • Club: NEA Volharding

Victories and achievements

  • Paralympic Games Rio 2016:
    • Gold medal on 100 m
    • Gold medal on 200 m
  • Paralympic Games London 2012:
    • Silver medal on 100 m
    • Gold medal on 200 m
  • World Para Athletics Championships London 2017:
    • Silver medal on 100 m
    • Gold medal on 200 m
  • World Para Athletics Championships Lyon 2013 and Doha 2015:
    • Gold medal on 100 m
    • Gold medal on 200 m
  • European Para Athletics Championships Stadskanaal 2012 and Swansea 2014:
    • Gold medal on 100 m
    • Gold medal on 200 m

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