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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

lunch with Johan Kenkhuis

Lunch with Johan Kenkhuis. He's doing a special sportsproject for Xsaga, the event marketing agency linked to BBDO, residing in the same building. Of course I know him because he was part of the famous Dutch relay team who won an silver Olympic medal in Athens. And sort of a role model for loads of young gays because he came out just before Athens. He ended his swimming career though, feeling there was nothing left for him to conquer in the water. Or, positive: more to gain on land. Interesting guy. Started his own company 'Done & Done' (no link possible as yet). Very laid back at first sight, but something's always brooding behind those eyes. I can just imagine him producing adrenalin for a race. He said he sometimes just couldn't work himself up to it, astonishing everyone by not making the personal finals and then swimming the fourth best ever relay time the next day.

Must say I could relate to that (at my own level, that is). I have always wondered about all the swimmers next to me in the club's lanes, swimming like crazy during practice, totally outclassing me. And then, during a real race, they do not seem to accelerate and I just peak and win. Love that about racing. But sometimes, it just doesn't work and I swim like a 'beached whale' as co-swimmer Yolanda once summarized.

Also talked 'gay politics'. How there is still a need for young gays to have rolemodels like Johan. You can see hetero couples everywhere you look, but if you're seventeen and looking for gay examples, it's hard to see more than the clichees. And there is so much more to see.
More about gay sports heroes:

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