Birthdate29 Aug 1997
Place of residence
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Rising Star – April 2018
Dutch 20- year-old Maarten Hurkmans is leading a double life – as a rower for both the World Champion Netherlands under 23 crew and the University of California, Berkeley, USA. He tells us how he loves both sides to his rowing and how he’s inspired his family to take up oars as well.
I started rowing for fun in 2010… but only dedicated myself to the sport after I made the Dutch Junior eight in 2014. Since then I have been to several other international competitions for the Dutch team and I have been lucky enough to be part of the team at University of California, Berkeley (Cal) in the United States.
I was the first one in my family to start rowing but… my siblings and my father have all picked up the sport. There weren’t any top sports people in my family, but we’ve always been very active and played a lot of sports.
I think I chose rowing because… I used to love rowing the big rowing boat at my grandparents’ cabin and that led to me joining the local rowing club. I immediately loved the club and the rowing community. I never imagined that rowing would take me this far.
My two most memorable highlights are… winning the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2015 and winning the US Collegiate National Championships in 2016. Winning the World Championships for the first time was incredible and probably one of the happiest days of my life. Secondly, winning in my first year at Cal with my incredible teammates was absolutely awesome.
I am currently studying and rowing… at the University of California, Berkeley. I am getting my undergraduate degree in Business Administration while rowing and competing at a high level with guys from all around the world.
There are differences to rowing in the US and the Netherlands... In US Collegiate rowing we have bigger teams and there is a lot of daily competition to prove and improve yourself. The main difference in rowing is the Dutch are more into the details, while in the US there is a greater emphasis on power and the big picture of moving boats.
At Cal we have a lot of international rowers… which is really fun. Also because we row for the university, it is important to excel not only on the water, but also in the classroom. I really enjoy that balance between academics and rowing. When I rowed with my Dutch crews during the summers, we could just focus on rowing and having fun together - those are some of the best times.
This season I want to… win nationals with Cal and then try out for the Dutch Senior National Team.
My long term goal is to… establish myself as an athlete on the national team and go on to win a medal at the Olympics.
On race day I usually… get up early to have enough time to get up and running. I eat breakfast, listen to music and move around a little bit. When we get to the course I do some warm-ups and dynamic stretching while going through the race plan in my head.
My favourite non-rowing workouts are… circuits and all sorts of weight lifting.
When I’m not training and studying… I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, watching movies and napping.