He tried his hand at other sports like soccer, basketball and especially judo before starting with athletics. He quit as a judoka when he was 15 years old with a brown belt when his father founded Wilrijk Atletiek Club, an athletics club. After trying his hand at the javelin, he switched to the high jump. A year later, he jumped over 2.04 meter using the straddle technique.
Only seventeen years old, he won the Belgian Championships in 1971. He finished as 8th in the final of the 1974 European Championships in Athletics in Rome. 1975 saw him beak the Belgian indoor record with 2.21 meter and the Belgian outdoor record with 2.24 meter. After winning bronze at the 1976 European Indoors, he was selected for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, but did not compete due to a last minute knee injury. An operation on his knee failed, and his sports career was over when he was only 23 years old.
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