Ottobock ambassador

Gitte Haenen

A knee injury and subsequently several surgeries damaged her knee that much, that an amputation was inevitable.

When crises make you strong

Gitte Haenen loves sport. She startet thai boxing at the age of 18 and won silver and bronze medals at European and World Championships. In 2010, a kick into her knee resulted in a torn front cruciate ligament. A complicated journey began - eight operations within six years. The nerves in her knee were irreparably damaged - she was not able to walk anymore. In 2016, the amputation of her left leg above the knee brought her back into life.

"I have had a lot of obstacles and setbacks in life but I always try to keep in mind: When life punches you, punch back harder. And I am blessed and grateful for the support I have around me and to be an ambassador of Ottobock."

Gitte Haenen tested her first running prosthesis two weeks after she left the hospital, started practising triathlon and joined an athletics club.

"I feel grateful to witness all the amazing things athletes with a disability can achieve and I am thankful and proud for being part of this world. It's nice to have others as an example and to be an example for others myself. So together we can show the world the strength and dedication we have and what a team we are."

Gitte Haenen, Para athlete and Ottobock ambassador

Ottobock ambassador Gitte Haenen

Ambition prevails

Only 16 month after her amputation, she competed at the World Para Athletics Championship in London and placed 4th in the 100 metres run. She continued to win a silver medal in long jump and a bronze medal in the 100 metres race at the European Championship in Berlin 2018 and at the World Championship in Dubai 2019.

At her first Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Gitte finished ninth in long jump.

Key facts

  • Nation: Belgium
  • Year of birth: 1986
  • Sport: Para Athletics – 100 m, Long Jump
  • Classification: T63
  • Coach: Mieke Van Thuyne
  • Club: KAAG

Victories and achievements

  • Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020:
    • 9th place in long jump
  • World Para Athletics Championship Dubai 2019:
    • Silver medal in long jump
    • Bronze medal on 100 m
  • World Para Athletics Championship London 2017:
    • 4th place on 100 m
  • European Para Athletics Championship Berlin 2018:
    • Silver medal in long jump
    • Bronze medal on 100 m

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