Brabant’s taekwondoka is full on games: “The best thing is when you kick someone in the head” | Eindhoven
For Bodine Schoonmakers (26), it felt like she had failed when she missed the Olympics in 2021. Her goal was gone, but she helped American Anastasija Zolotic to the Olympic taekwondo title (-57kg). Schoenmakers is working hard to make her Olympic dream come true on her own.
The taekwondoka who lives in Berghem wants to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris next year. Schoenmakers work hard for it, not only on the mat but also on the side. For sports financing, she does management and human resources for her father’s company and has her own company with Change4Yourself. Among other things, she offers personal training, taekwondo lessons for children, nutritional advice and massages. She also has a sponsor in FilterCare.
But Taekwondo is preferred by an athlete from Deden. “The best thing is when you kick someone in the head. You get the most points for that. During the race, you have a lot of adrenaline and you feel it less. Also, I’ve been used to it since childhood. I hardly experience it myself, although I got a black eye once. But you have to dodge it and hand it yourself.”
She enjoys the sport, although her motivation was damaged when she failed to qualify for the Games in Tokyo in May 2021. “It was disappointing to say the least. I felt a little bit of a failure. The first few weeks after that were the worst. I trained, but on Lower level. No more than twice a day or daily. My goal was gone, but fairly quickly I found my motivation again. I knew it wasn’t ready yet. In 2024 there is a new opportunity.”
A few weeks later I fanatically picked it up again. What helped was an invitation from the American team to help prepare Anastasija Zolotic. She had placed herself in the -57k class, a class in which Schoenemakers also compete. “I didn’t find it hurtful. I thought it was an honor. In addition, it is also self-interest, and it also benefits me.”
Helping Zolotic Games wasn’t a pain, it was an honor. And that makes me feel better, too
Not much has changed in her approach to searching for an Olympic ticket. “The last time I did everything for her.” However, she has consistently approached peripheral matters in a different way. I seek more outside help, such as a physical therapist and a sports doctor. Let me do a precautionary check up and get the exercises in.”
She would prefer to stop working to fully focus on sports, but this is not financially feasible. “I can use this time to rest or for physical therapy.” The taekwondoka sometimes worries about finances. ,, It’s not that I lose sleep over it, but it’s a regular topic of conversation with my coach, who’s also my friend. Then we talk about what we can do better or how we can find another sponsor. Continuing to work alongside the sport is essential.”
This does not prevent her from getting good results. Last weekend she finished third at the Dutch Open in Eindhoven. After winning three matches, she reached the semi-finals, but did not play again as a precaution. “Four weeks ago, my finger was kicked out of its socket.” The medal was enough to qualify for the World Cup at the end of May and the beginning of June. Focusing now on that tournament and the European Games in June and July. To fulfill her dream, she must be there next year during the playoffs. “Everything should be fine that day.”
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