Some twenty members of Skadi rowing club were among the audience to honour the Olympians in the RAI in Amsterdam. And, of course, their own hero and gold medal winner, Maaike Head.
External Commissioner Simon van Baal thought that the ceremony organisation was “incredible”. “The screen on the stage meant you could see and follow the arrival of the plane at Schiphol. They then switched on the sprinklers next to the runway, which was a bit over the top,” he smiled. The first athletes entered the stage in the RAI after a couple of hours, after which the “fantastic party” started.
“They walked on stage one by one, but Maaike just didn’t appear,” explained Van Baal. “She was one of the last ones, and when she finally appeared we all went mad jumping about and waving our banner.” The Skadi members had a banner attached to four oars, with congratulations for Maaike. “Other rowing clubs were there too, but they didn’t have such a great banner,” said Van Baal rather immodestly.
At the end of the official part of the ceremony, Head went in search of her fellow club members. Van Baal: “One of the board members started the club song with a long ‘BIIIIIIIIJJJJJJJJJ’, upon which we all sang along enthusiastically.”
Bij Skadi schiet je lekker op / At Skadi you really will go far
Bij Skadi kun je wat presteren / At Skadi you can perform
En als er niet teveel passeren / And if you’re not overtaken
Dan lig je min of meer op kop / You’ll be a star reborn
Skadi, laat je niet verslaan / Skadi doesn’t admit defeat
Skadi, doet er eens wat aan / Skadi you’re the one to beat
Skadi, geef je laatste gram / Skadi never does retreat
Voor de eer van Rotterdam / We’re Rotterdam’s greatest ever feat
First medal since 1996
During the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, together with Ilse Paulis, Head won the gold in the Women’s lightweight double sculls. It was Skadi’s first medal since Koos Maasdijk won gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996.