|— Gymnast —|
|Full name||Epke Jan Zonderland|
|Nickname(s)||"The Flying Dutchman"|
16 April 1986 |
|Discipline||Men's artistic gymnastics|
|Years on national team||Netherlands|
Zonderland was born on 16 April 1986 in Lemmer, Netherlands. He started exercising gymnastics at the age of four. He has two brothers (Herre and Johan) and one sister (Geeske) who are also international gymnasts.
Zonderland reached his first international success as a junior in 2004. At the European Junior Championships in Ljubljana he was fourth at the all-around event and he won a silver medal at the horizontal bar. That same year he also became Dutch national all-around champion by taking over the title from his older brother Herre.
In 2005 at the World Championships in Melbourne Zonderland and Jeffrey Wammes were the first ever Dutch gymnasts in the history of the sport to qualify themselves for the all-around final. Zonderland eventually ended up in the 11th position. In that same year at the European Championships he only reached the 15th position, which was a disappointment considering his World Championship result.
After his success in 2005 he continued in 2006 by reaching the final of the horizontal bar competition during the European Championships in Volos, where he was 6th. At the World Cup meeting in Glasgow at the same discipline he won the silver medal and in Tehran, Zonderland claimed his first World Cup win and the gold medal. That year he also became Dutch national all-around champion for the second time in his career.
In 2007 he competed in both the European and the World Championships. At the European Championships in Amsterdam he reached a unique level by finishing sixth in the all-around event, the highest ever position by a Dutch gymnast. During the same Championships he also won the bronze medal at the parallel bars. Later, in September at the World Championships in Stuttgart Zonderland finished in 4th position at the horizontal bar, which earned him a qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Later in 2007 he won his second World Cup event at the horizontal bar in Glasgow.
In 2009, he won the silver medal in High Bar at the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. At the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, he earned another silver medal on High Bar. In 2011 he became European champion for the first time.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Zonderland won an Olympic gold medal in the high bar with a personal best score of 16.533. His routine included a Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman combination. He is the first Dutch male gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics as well as the first Dutch gymnast (male or female) to win an individual Olympic medal.
At the World Championships of 2013 in Antwerp he became World champion for the first time. He has now won the Olympic, World championship and European championship all once.
Honours and awards
Zonderland was named Dutch Sportsman of the year in 2009 for his silver medal in High Bar at the 2009 World Championships. He was selected Sportsman of the Year for a second time in 2011 after he won the European Championships. He was made a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau after he won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
|Wikinews has related news: Olympics gymnastics finals conclude with wins for Netherlands, United States, China|
- Epke Zonderland - Over mij (About me), epkezonderland.com, ret: Aug 3, 2008
- 38th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Men, gymnasticsresults.com, Ret: Aug 3, 2008
- Epke Zonderland toont Olympisch vormbehoud, gelderlander.nl, ret: Aug 3, 2008
- Emma John (August 7, 2012). "London 2012: Gymnastic gold for true flying Dutchman Epke Zonderland". Guardian. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- "Olympics: Epke Zonderland claims high bar gold for Netherlands". BBC. August 7, 2012.
- "High bar gold for Epke Zonderland at gymnastics world championships - See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/10/high_bar_gold_for_epke_zonderl.php#sthash.ZnnoNtyV.dpuf". DutchNews.nl. 07-10-2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Epke Zonderland Ridder Oranje Nassau". Heerenveense Courant. August 15, 2012.
- "EPKE ZONDERLAND IN TRANEN NA ONDERSCHEIDING". RTL Boulevard. August 15, 2012.
- Official website
- Epke Zonderland at Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique
- The Gold Medal routine.
- high bar releases and a bio discussion
- Zonderland(Parallel bars skill)
Maarten van der Weijden
|Dutch Sportsman of the Year
2009, 2011, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epke Zonderland.|