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Teun 9

Teun Boer (NED) @KNSB

Welcome to emerging star Teun Boer’s Short Track diary
Every month effervescent Teun Boer (NED) will be sharing his highs, lows and inner thoughts as he looks to make a big impression in his first season as a World Cup Short Track Speed Skater. 

Yong Jin Lim (KOR) Roberts Kruzbergs(LAT), Teun Boers(NED) ShortTrack World Cup GettyImages 1244332344 (1)

Yong Jin Lim (KOR) Roberts Kruzbergs(LAT) and Teun Boer (NED) pose during the ISU ShortTrack World Cup 2022 in Montreal (CAN) @ISU

It has been quite a rollercoaster already for the 21-year-old, with Boer winning 1000m World Cup bronze in his very first start in Montreal before contracting Covid-19 just a week later. Here he is, revealing all…

Receiving one of the best phone calls ever

I got a phone call at the end of May. That is when my summer started. I was waiting at the train station. I saw the name on the call and I thought ‘OK, if he (the national team manager) is calling me, it is the phone call everybody talks about’. I was already smiling. I expected it a little bit but it was a pretty big release when I got the call!

Teun 4

 Teun Boer (NED) @KNSB

I got into the team this year with Niels Kingma and Niels was already in my previous team. So, it’s nice to be with a good friend for whom everything is also new. Jens (van ‘t Wout) and Kay (Huisman) are also pretty new and they are good friends as well.

Training with some of the greatest

I didn’t get that nervous for the first training session. I’ve been seeing the team every day for years. It makes the step a bit less big. It was pretty funny actually, I had to walk just one dressing room further.

 

It feels pretty normal to be training with Suzanne (Schulting, double Olympic champion) and Sjinkie (Knegt, five-time world champion). Yes they can skate really well and they have got amazing results and went to multiple Olympics but I know I can beat them and that stops me thinking ‘Oh my god, who is he or she?’. It’s more like ‘OK, I want to learn something off them’. But I am not going to step away.

On a brilliantly successful first World Cup

Before competition started, I had a meeting with my coaches and we talked about goals. One of the goals was not focusing on getting the highest results but focusing on learning things. That’s pretty funny because I got really good results!

The first race was the 1000m heats. I was actually a bit late. They started five minutes earlier than the schedule said. It messed up my head. Normally I want to see the whole of the race before I go on but I didn’t get to do that. So, I was really stressed and I made a couple of mistakes.

The next morning I got up early for the repechage and spoke to my coach about skating from the front with confidence. And I kept that mindset with the quarterfinals and semifinals. It felt good and then I thought why not do the same in the final and see how far I can get.

Teun Boer (NED)  ISU World Cup Short Track  Montreal (CAN) GettyImages 1244363238

Teun Boer (NED) skates during the ISU ShortTrack World Cup 2022 in Montreal (CAN) @ISU

My first thought when I got over the finish line was ‘don’t celebrate’! I needed to see the results first because I’d had a bit of contact with the Canadian guy. But then the ceremony started and I thought ‘OK, I think it’s official now’.

All my family and friends said it was even more special than I actually thought it was. The coaches said, ‘I knew you could do it, now you have proved it to yourself’.

Also, I rang a really good friend of mine that night too. He doesn’t really understand Short Track but he said, ‘Man, I am so proud of you’ and he said that at last he understood why I don’t drink (alcohol) when I am at a party with him.

On coming back to earth with a… Covid-19 bang

I woke up in Salt Lake and didn’t feel that great. We did a Covid-19 test at the ice rink and the guy said I had to do another one because the first one was invalid but I already thought Oh it’s not invalid, it’s positive.

I watched a lot of Netflix – ‘Young Sheldon’. A bit of laughing helped. And I binge-watched the whole competition. Many people asked me if it was hard to watch the other guys skate but last year I watched them too, so why would it be different to watch them now?

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Teun Boer (NED) @KNSB

It’s not like I need to get a (World Cup) gold medal because someone like Jens (van ‘t Wout) got one (in Salt Lake City). It’s more that I’ve seen the guys skate the 500m in 40.34 seconds (like Steven Dubois, CAN, in Montreal) and I am like ‘OK, I want to do that too’.

The first training session back was hard on the legs. But I am looking forward to Almaty (the third and fourth ISU World Cup events)!