[Interviews]

Esther Akihary

Athlete and lawyer

‘Olympian’
When I saw the Olympics in Sydney 2000 I dreamt of being like Marion Jones and Maurice Green. They were my heroes. That’s when I first visualized myself being an athlete. Now I’m proud to be an Olympian myself.
Preparing for the Olympics means planning my days ahead: my meals, my rest, my practice and my work. Everything is planned. But sometimes unforeseen things happen, like injuries. Giving your body the rest it needs is so important in times like that. And even a night out can be important to blow off some steam. One of my training partners used to say: Without struggle there’s no progress. That’s so true and it’s something I tell people as well.

‘Master of Laws’
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to study law or be a writer. As a lawyer you can be both. Later, in my puberty I was also interested in Psychology. After I paid a visit to the University I knew law was going to be more me.
Later on, I’ve met some Dutch athletes in hockey, rowing and beach volleyball who have achieved their Master’s degree in Utrecht as well. But it is a select group of people who managed to do this. For most of us it’s hard to combine study and sports. From my experience it’s doable to combine sport and study, but you have to be a good planner.

‘To the limit’
Pushing yourself to the limit is something that comes from deep within. And it doesn’t matter how hard people scream you have to give your best, the only one who can do that is you. It sounds hard, and sometimes it is, but I also like pushing my body to the limit. During practice I keep telling myself that I can do it, because I’m doing what I love. The trick is to believe the things you say to yourself. Having faith and being realistic in practice can bring nice surprises in competition.

‘Reading & Writing’
I love to read and I love writing as well. I write in my journal, not every day, but most days. And I absolutely love to read. My favorite writer is Stephen King. “The girl who loved Tom Gordon” and of course “The Long Walk” are my favorites. As a lawyer I like to read John Grisham books as well.
Besides reading thrillers I also like to read study material to train my brain.

‘High Heels’
I like fashion, so for me it’s important to look good and feel confident in my sportswear. When I’m not on the track I choose dresses and high heels. When in competition I don’t wear heels, but off-season you’ll see me dress like a lady. I always try to keep my heels, head and standards high.
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Location:
Sportclub Prins Hendrik, Vught, The Netherlands

Clothing:
Margreeth Olsthoorn

Photographer:
Kin Yuen

Stylist:
Manuela Martorelli

Muah:
Lina Valciukaite

Interviewer:
Lexter Woodley

Esther Akihary:
www.estherakihary.com