LISA KRUGER

NATIONALITY Dutch
HOMETOWN Harderwijk
DATE OF BIRTH 04/09/2000
DISCIPLINE Breaststroke, Backstroke, Freestyle and Medley
CLUB/COLLEGE De Dolfijn, Amsterdam
COACH Bram Dekker
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“Worst case scenario? You’ll be in pain. But that’s only temporary, the improvement you’ll make will be much longer-lasting” - My sports psychologist when I was struggling with pushing my boundaries in training and racing.

BIOGRAPHY

When Lisa Kruger won gold in world-record time at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio four days after turning 16, she got a surprise phone call from the Dutch prime minister.

The Netherlands swimmer had initially targeted Tokyo 2020 but success came far earlier when she won the 100m breaststroke SB9 in a world record of 1:15.47.

Following the race, a phone was thrust into her hands with a voice on the other end, saying: “‘This is Prime Minister (Mark) Rutte.’ “I never thought he would call to congratulate me,” she told AD.nl. “I stammered a bit of ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.”

She was appointed Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau and her hometown of Harderwijk renamed the competition pool Lisa Krugerbad.

Five years later in Tokyo, Lisa won silver in the 100m breaststroke SB9 as well as a further three bronzes with Paris 2024 on the agenda.

In 2006 Lisa broke her left arm when she fell off a wall resulting in a condition known as Madelung’s deformity.

Her left arm is seven centimeters shorter than her right arm and she has 80% less power in her left wrist and fingers and impaired range of motion in her left wrist and lower arm.

She began para-swimming in 2012 and made her international debut at the IPC World Championships in 2015.

Of her disability, she says: “I have had no trouble accepting that I have a disability from the start. I can say that it has also brought me beautiful things and I have rarely regretted it.”

GENERAL QUICK FACTS

Favorite sportsperson or team (other than swimming)
Formula 1 driver Lando Norris
Favorite vacation spot and why
Japan, I love the food, the nature and the culture
Public person you admire
Lin-Manuel Miranda, a true musical genius
Favorite book(s)/author(s)
I haven’t read a single book since high school
Favorite artist or work of art
Assuming theatre counts as art then ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda. If not, then ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Katsushika Hokusai
Items you’d want on a desert island
A snorkeling set, a lighter because I have no idea how to start a fire, and a cat to keep me company
If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Ohhh that’s a hard one, I can never pick between the ability to fly or the ability to bend and manipulate water (like in Avatar)
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
‘Ten years later: how a broken wrist at age six led to a gold medal at age 16’
What you’d like to do in your life after swimming
I would love to become a surgeon

SWIMMING QUICK FACTS

Proudest moment in swimming
Becoming Paralympic champion in the 100m breaststroke at 16 years old, swimming a 3.5sec PB and a World Record that day. Even though before that, I had never even been the fastest Dutch girl in that event
Least favorite part of swimming
Having to jump into the COLD water for training or warm-up
Funniest moment in swimming
We were training in an outdoor pool, and a bird (I believe it was a duck) decided to swim in the pool and landed when a teammate was practicing starts. After his butterfly kicks he made his breakout right where the bird was swimming. The poor thing absolutely panicked and flew away, probably thinking he nearly escaped death, but it was really funny to watch
Favorite/least favorite training set and why
Favorite: it’s kind of a “love-hate”-relationship, but 4x50m medley all out, 10sec rest. Sometimes I do it only once, sometimes three times, and it always hurts. It’s really fast though, and I enjoy improving my season’s best. Least favorite: 25x100m breaststroke 85% speed, it’s long, it hurts, and I’m already fed up with it after only 5x100. I’ve cried swimming this set multiple times
Favorite Race/Training suits and why
Race suits: Carbon Glide Open Back, it’s less tight around my legs, but tight enough around my core. Training suits: a tie between the Crazy Penguins (X criss-cross back) and the Watermelon Happy print (challenge back). Both these types of suits fit my body the best, and the prints are just so cute
Best piece of equipment and why
Snorkel, swimming is just so much easier if you can breathe whenever you want, without moving your head
Favorite Food after training
Pizza, definitely pizza
Most annoying type of swimmer
The swimmer that only talks about themselves and their own achievements
Favorite Pool in the world and why
Probably the outdoor pool in Belek, Turkey. It’s a beautiful pool, the weather is great, and the hotel is amazing. It’s perfect for a training camp

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES, TOKYO
SILVER 100m Breaststroke SB9
BRONZE 100m Freestyle S10
BRONZE 100m Backstroke S10
BRONZE 200m Individual Medley SM10
2019 PARA SWIMMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, LONDON
GOLD 100m Backstroke SB9
SILVER 200m Individual Medley SM10
SILVER 100m Breaststroke S10
BRONZE 100m Freestyle S10
2018 PARA SWIMMING EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS, DUBLIN
GOLD 100m Butterfly S10
GOLD 200m Individual Medley SM10
SILVER 100m Breaststroke SB9
SILVER 100m Backstroke S10
2016 PARALYMPIC GAMES, RIO DE JANEIRO
GOLD 100m Breaststroke SB9

INSIDE LISA’S BAG

Crazy Camo Cats Superfly Back
Cobra Ultra Mirror
Rule Breaker Hooked One Piece
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