Maya Kingma: “Quite a lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders”

Maya Kingma to be the second Dutch athlete ever winning a WTCS-race. (Picture: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon)

At the end of 2021 Dutch pro triathlete Maya Kingma – who finished fourth in the 2021 WTCS rankings, 11th at the Olympics individually and won 2021 WTCS Leeds – looks back at a successful year, but also a year in which she dealt with problems within the Dutch Triathlon Federation (NTB). “It has been a year in which I had something weighing on my shoulders and this was why I could not participate in WTCS Abu Dhabi“, she explains.

“As the chair of the Dutch Tri Athlete Committee, I played a role in reporting misconducts, misbehavior and abuse of power within the High Performance section of the Dutch Federation”, Kingma continued. “This led to an exploratory investigation, of which the results were published last November, confirming the issues. A new board has taken steps in the right direction. So, going into 2022, quite a lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders.”

As Kingma sums up her biggest achievements of 2021 – a first, third and sixth place at WTCS events, fourth in the WTCS standings and her 11th place at the Olympics – she points out how important a strong surrounding team is in order to perform: “This year really made it clear to me, you cannot perform without creating the right team of people around you. They helped me to perform as I did as an athlete, but most of all, they made me feel good as a human.”

“When I look at my development as an athlete I can only be proud of myself, although I keep pointing out all the things that I can still do better to myself”, Kingma remains self-critical. “Luckily, I have a good set of people around me, reminding me of all that I achieved.”