Retired Dutch swimming legend Pieter van den Hoogenband is reportedly up for the role of Chef de Mission for his nation at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 40-year-old multi-Olympic medalist has been meeting with Dutch Olympic Committee Technical Director Maurits Hendriks and NOC Chairman Andre Bolhuis to discuss the role, a position which, along with Chef de Mission for the 2019 European Games and the 2020 Paralympic Games, should be decided in the very near future, according to Dutch press.
“Our technical director Maurits Hendricks asked me to maybe become the chef de mission of the Dutch Olympic team at the Olympics in Tokyo,” Van den Hoogenband (VDH) told the Olympic Channel.
“That’s a big honour but I told him I want to think about it and make my own strategy. One of the main things is to inspire a generation and give a good example with the Olympic values that made me the person I am now. I want to give that back.”
VDH made his mark on Olympic swimming history by winning both the 100m and 200m freestyle gold medals at the 2000 Games in Sydney, beating host country hero Ian Thorpe in the process. The Limburg-born athlete followed up with a silver in the ‘race of the century’, the men’s 200m freestyle in Athens, whose field included American Michael Phelps, aforementioned Thorpe and Australian freestyle icon Grant Hackett.
VDH will decided on the Chef de Mission role before October 1st, he tells the Olympic Channel.