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Megan Hollander: Be proud of who you are!
Date: 4/30/2020 9:57 AM
Published by : BEC staff

Megan Hollander, one of Europe’s top Para badminton stars opens up about what the past twelve months have been like for her. 


The Dutch Standing Upper 5 player has come on a long and inspiring journey to this point. But her position in the sport that she has built for herself through hard work, allows her to appreciate it for what it is when she states. 


- The best thing about it is that you can inspire other disabled players to just do what you like and make the best out of it. Do not be ashamed of who you are but be proud, you can achieve more than you think.


This positivity is a testimony to her psychological strength, but it is not all plain sailing, as she explains. 


- The toughest thing for me is that despite being a role model to others there are always people who want to drag you down and make fun of you. I still think that is difficult even though I am 21.


Read: Georgij Karpov: Jørgensen is one of my favourite players


Physically and mentally


For all athletes, Olympic qualification periods can be a long and gruelling road, balancing training, tournaments and personal life on the way to Tokyo. Opening up on how it has been for her over the past year, Hollander says. 


- It has been tough for me. I played almost every tournament on the calendar and really found myself in those 12 months. It was hard physically and mentally. I almost broke my arm and had multiple small injuries and one big one.


With the postponement of the games and the freezing of the qualification period, Hollander comments on what this means for Para badminton, which was eagerly awaiting its debut participation at the games. 


- I am not sure about what it means for the Para badminton community. I think that it will ask a lot from a lot of players because after this year we would be done with the hard work for a while and that got extended by a year, so that changes a lot of plans for people.


Read: BWF statement on TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2020


Would mean a lot


Hollander is currently ranked at number seven in the Road to Tokyo rankings, so is on the edge of going or not going. Therefore, this unplanned pause in proceedings is especially tough for her. Hollander shares why getting there would mean the world to her in particular.  


- It would mean a lot to me. Part of my journey is for my mum, who passed away in June 2018. She was my biggest supporter and I really miss that on and off-court. But it will also mean a lot to me because it will be an award for this tough period and my hard work.


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