Iris Pruysen

Iris Pruysen, of the Netherlands, used to be a leading microbiologist. Now she wants to win Paralympic medals.

Having put her studies on hold for a few years to concentrate on developing her career as an elite athlete. She is a World champion in the long jump and aiming for gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

Pruysen lost her leg in 2006 when she was on a sailing camp. A gas leak led to an explosion that injured her so severely that her right lower leg had to be amputated. She was originally a korfball (a dutch sport similar to basketball and netball) player and wanted to go back to her club after rehabilitation. However, she soon fell in love with athletics.

In 2009, she ran on a blade for the first time and enjoyed it so much, she became member of the sports club, Hercules, in Dordrecht.

A number of strong performances resulted in her being selected for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she achieved a fourth place finish.

In 2013, she won the long jump gold medal at the World Championships in Lyon and followed up with third place at the European Championships in Zurich the following summer.

“I am working hard to be a world-class athlete. I may return to my studies one day but for now I am working hard to become one of the best long-jumpers in the world.”

Key competitive achievemets:

World Championships European Championships
Lyon 2013 Zürich 2014
  • Gold
  • Bronze

Key facts:

Nationality: Dutch

Date of birth: 26. November 1987

Sports: Athletics - 100m and 200m and long jump

Classification: T44

Length: 1.68

Weight: 58 kg

Sports club: Hercules /DPT

Coach: Guido Bonsen

Career highlight: Becoming world champion in Lyon in 2013

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