Netherlands hockey captain Eva de Goede wins a hattrick of gold medals at the Olympic Games

Netherlands hockey captain Eva de Goede wins a hattrick of gold medals at the Olympic Games
2021-08-12 12:45 PM
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(Hockey news) Netherlands captain Eva de Goede has still not processed her achievements, having won three gold medals (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Tokyo 2020) in her last three appearances at the Olympic Games.

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” she admits before the interview begins. “It has been like a whirlwind between winning the gold medal and now.”

The 32 year old midfielder has endured a whirlwind in the last few days, as she captained the number one side in hockey that remained unbeaten throughout the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“I can’t believe that we did it. I am very happy and proud of the way we played,” says de Goede. “The pressure was quite high for us. A lot of people expected us to win and that is not easy. But we stayed focused from the start and we played a little bit better each game and that was what we wanted.

“First we had to get used to each other and get used to playing at the Olympics. We excelled through the quarter-final, semi-final and then played our best in the final.”

Having won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, de Goede compared her previous experiences to the one in Tokyo, describing the eerily silent stadiums as unsettling, which would otherwise be populated with thousands of fans.

“But also,” she says, “it was very special because it was so intimate with the team. And we knew that we had the support of thousands of people around the world.”

The Netherlands won the gold medal after defeating Argentina 3-1 in the final. De Goede recalls the moment the final whistle went. “It was a very special moment. I still can’t believe we actually did it. 

“It [the Olympic Games] took way longer than expected, so for another year and a half we had to keep pushing. And then, after all the delay, it all went by so quickly at the end.”

On their return to the Netherlands, the team went straight to the beach at Scheveningen where the Dutch National Olympic Committee hosted a party for returning athletes, family and friends. “It was special that we could have a celebration even in these times,” says de Goede.

Speaking about the Netherlands Head Coach, Alyson Annan, Eva said: “Alyson is so good at giving us trust and confidence that we can do it. She also gets us to talk about things. Apart from that, she is an amazing coach. Because of that, you go to the Games knowing and trusting you are fully prepared.”

Eva de Goede has hinted that she would not be featuring at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, but irrespective of the disappointments on the faces of fans, she will retire as a legend and a true champion who has achieved it all in the sport.

Also read: Indian Hockey players receive warm welcome in Punjab and Haryana after Olympic heroics