Femke Heemskerk moving to France to join coach Philippe Lucas

Mirroring a move she made before the 2012 Olympic Games, Dutch freestyler Femke Heemskerk will move to France and join renowned coach Philippe Lucas for the final year leading up to the 2016 Olympics.

France’s L’Equipe has the story here, including a tweet from the former Olympic champ (in its original Dutch) announcing her move:

“I’m going on a new adventure in continuing my swimming career with coach Philippe Lucas in France,” Heemskerk says in the tweet, roughly translated to English.

She also linked out to her own website, where she posted a longer explanation of her decision in both Dutch and English.

Heemskerk noted that her current coach, Marcel Wouda, is also the head coach of the Netherlands’ open water swimmers, and couldn’t dedicate all of his time to training Heemskerk. That led the freestyler to find another coach who could spend more time training her, while still thanking Wouda for coaching her for three years, a period Heemskerk said brought “lots of joy.”

Heemskerk is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist as part of the Dutch 4×100 free relay, a relay that is still among the world’s best 7 years later. Heemskerk won silver with that relay at the 2012 Olympics, and took silver in the event at the 2015 World Championships just about a month ago.

Heemskerk trained in Marseille, France from 2010 to 2012, and the 27-year-old will now train in the nation of France again for a year leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Lucas is a noteworthy coach himself, having coached world record-holders Laure Manaudou of France and Federica Pellegrini of Italy. The two had a high-profile rivalry and traded the 200 freestyle world record, each working with Lucas at different stages in their careers.

Most recently, Lucas has coached another Dutch swimmer, distance-oriented Sharon van RouwendaalVan Rouwendaal has had a great run as the Dutch women in general have risen in the past few year. Now with Heemskerk in tow, Lucas will have a chance to greatly impact the Dutch team heading into Rio.

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bobo gigi

Jared, it’s Philippe, not Phillipe.
No surprise.
Philippe Lucas wore a Dutch team t-shirt at last worlds. He trains SVR and was already very close to Feemke Heemskerk.
Heemskerk’s main problem is mental as she always swims very fast in season and struggles in the big meets.
And who is better than Philippe Lucas when you have mental problems?
We’ll see if the Lucas’ magic will work again. 🙂

bobo gigi

Good luck Feemke. 😀
And be on time every morning for training! 😆

bobo gigi

And Bobo Gigi, it’s Femke, not Feemke! 😳 😆

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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