Jens van 'T Wout (NED) pictured during a cycling training in Bormio (ITA) @Shapevisions
Jens van ‘t Wout (NED) stands out on the Short Track ice. Not only because of the gold tooth he likes to show after skating well, but also because of his bravado and flair. Van ‘t Wout is one of Netherlands’ rising stars as the Dutch team aims to continue their climb to the very top of the sport.
“The level in the Netherlands has increased massively over the past couple of years. We've had some huge talents coming through and that is still the case now”, Van ‘t Wout said. “To make it to the World Cup and World Championship teams is getting more difficult because of it. I am aware of the fact I need to keep delivering good results. To do so, I try to just to focus on myself.”
Jens van 'T Wout (NED) skates during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games in Beijng (CHN) @GettyImages
Focusing on his own game is something Van ‘t Wout learned over the past years. His mindset and focus especially changed after a collision with Israeli Skater Vladislav Bykanov in September 2019, where he sustained a large cut on his cheek and lost two teeth.
“The crash really just taught me to not to care. It made me realize I just have to focus on myself and my own skating when I’m out on the ice. It really made me a better Skater,” he said.
‘Feeling of Skating is incomparable’
Jens van 'T Wout (NED) pictured during an ice training session in Bormio (ITA) @Shapevisions
Van ‘t Wout and the Dutch squad recently kicked off the new season with some intense training before returning to the ice a couple of weeks ago.
“It gives me a boost, both physically and mentally, to be on the ice again. Strength and cycling are super important, but the feeling of skating is just incomparable. I obviously cannot wait for the season to get underway.”
“As it’s the post-Olympic season, we started a bit later than we usually do. That’s something I never experienced yet. We had a longer period of rest and that also gave me the time to finish my exams at school,” he said.
The way the Dutch team started the new season was not the only change, however. “We also have a new head coach. Jeroen Otter decided to take a one-year sabbatical and Niels Kerstholt is taking over. I have enjoyed the first couple of months under him. We have focused a lot on technique, which is something I absolutely love to do. There have been a lot of new and different exercises, some of them we never done before, as well. It’s nice.”
Van ‘t Wout has clear goals for next season as well. “I would love to compete at the World Cups again. The main goal is just to have a great feeling about Skating, which is more important than anything. But to be honest I would love to make it to the A-finals, whichever distance, at some point.”
Jens van 'T Wout (NED) celebrates after finishing first ahead of team Hungary during the ISU World Cup Short Track 2021 in Dordrecht (NED) @International Skating Union (ISU)
The Dutch Skater hopes he can use his past experiences in order to achieve that goal. “I learned a lot from last season, which was my first season skating individual World Cup events,” he said. “I found out what it was to deal with pressure and all and I can certainly build from there the next four years.” Expect to see that gold tooth flashing again next season.