Marloes Oldenburg awarded her rehabilitation after a serious mountain bike accident on Saturday with a medal at the European Championships in Bled, Slovenia. The South Holland woman won bronze with the women’s four without.
The Netherlands took the lead after 500 meters, but in the remaining 1,500 meters Romania (gold) and Great Britain (silver) passed Oldenburg’s team, Benthe Boonstra, Hermine Catherine Drenth and Tinka Offereins. Denmark was just slower than the Netherlands.
The medal has a special meaning for Oldenburg. The rower broke two cervical vertebrae in October and also damaged her carotid artery during a mountain bike ride in Austria. A few days before, she had won two more World Cup silver medals.
A grueling rehabilitation followed for Oldenburg. She was initially unable to walk, eat or sit. “Even crying hurt,” the rower recently said in conversation with NU.nl. “I realized: if I had moved, it might have been over.”
There are even more medal opportunities for the Netherlands on Saturday. The final of the women’s double four, who won World Cup silver last year, is at 1.25 pm. This is followed by the men’s double four (1.41 pm) and the final of the Holland Eight (2.29 pm).