Lenie de Nijs
Lenie de Nijs (right) and Atie Voorbij in 1961
|Competitor for the Netherlands|
|1958 Budapest||4×100 m medley|
Lenie de Nijs (born 1939, Hilversum) was a Dutch swimmer who won a gold medal in the 4×100 m medley team event (together with Ada den Haan, Cocky Gastelaars and Atie Voorbij) at the 1958 European Aquatics Championships. She qualified for the 1956 Summer Olympics but could not participate due to the boycott of those games by the Netherlands. She was an unusually versatile swimmer, a 1955 national champion and the world record holder in the 1500 m freestyle, as well as the world record holder in the now obsolete 880 yd and 1760 yd freestyle events. However, she then switched to medley and 100 m and 200 m backstroke disciplines, winning three national titles in the 100 m backstroke (1956–1958), setting the world record in the 200 m backstroke in 1957, and contributing to the 4×100 m medley world record set by the Dutch team in 1958.
As a child, de Nijs was diagnosed with chronic asthma and bronchitis and the doctor advised her to join a sportclub to improve health. After retiring from swimming she married the Dutch water polo player Harry Vriend on 4 October 1963. Her younger sister Judith de Nijs (b. 1942) was also a swimmer, a national champion and record holder, and also married a water polo player.
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