Twice a day, for two hours each time, Rieneke Terink can be found in the water, with power training added to this. And yet this Biology student managed to graduate within seven years. She received her degree on Friday 27 November. 'It was tough, but I wouldn't have pulled through in seven years with only swimming.'
Thanks to her iron will, Terink finished her Biology course in seven years. Just a year longer than average. 'And yet, I would have liked to have more time for self study. Top sporters, used to do what has to be done, should be able to count on getting more.' She could have applied to the dean for that but did not. Anyway, it was mostly possible to reschedule exams. 'However, I had the feeling that I was a little troublesome.'
Wageningen's top sporters regulation gave her, in addition to more study time, an extra year of study funds, to compensate for the delay in her studies due to sporting. 'I receive two or three more months of study funds each year until the money was used up. I should have put aside that money, but the study fund wasn't enough for me, and that didn't work.' Her parents supported her in the last two years. Is the regulation useful anyway? 'Every little bit helps. But an extra year is not enough for a student who sports 25 hours a week.'
Although swimming is the best, she wouldn't have made it without her studies. 'I needed other things to think about besides swimming.' Her goals for the coming period include learning a new start, gaining more power, and getting a job with a 20-hour working week. As for doing a PhD, the 25-year-old Terink doesn't want to think about that yet. She wants first and foremost to build a career in the water in the coming years. 'I want to be among the four-hundred-metre freestyle finalists in the Olympic Games in 2012 in London and be in the Dutch relay team in the 4x200 metres freestyle.