After die hard stalking, annoying, whining and making sure people voted, six weeks later it was time to attend the gala. I reached the finale of the election and it was time for the Dutch Gala in favour of Disabled Sports, organised by Gehandicapten Sport.
First of all, a short summary to tell you about the election... One week before the voting had to start, my mom called me to the computer for some sort of suprise. Curious as I am, I "ran" to the computer. My parents enrolled me in the election to become Sports Talent of the year. They were proud of me and of the way in which I developed, mentally as well in tennis. At first, I was not really enthousiastic about this election, because I do not really like al the attention. But along the way, I started to enjoy it and I started giving my all for it. In no time, we were first and through to the semi finals and later to the finale. This was at the Dutch Gala in Favour of Disabled Sports.
The night began one week earlier, because I had to buy a gown of course and had to make the decision of who I was going to take with me. In the end, I took my parents with me and we had some last minute shopping to do for my mom. Some make up here and there and we were ready to go.
After non-stop traffic jams, eventually we arrived in Amsterdam. At the entrance, we met Jiske Griffioen and Bibian mentel, and some people who were working for Fonds Gehandicaptensport.
I met the other finalists, some jury members and a few well known sportsmen (and women) and after that it was time to find our table. Rapper Typhoon started the evening with an impressive speech and rap, about life and it's misfortune, but also opportunities. Dione de Graaff was the hostess.
The entrée was servered by Ron Blaauw and it was amazing. After finishing the first course, it was time to announce the winner of the election. The nerves were getting to me, as you can imagine.
Once on stage, everyone could feel the tension and we all had to answer some questions. André Cats told a short story about the election and after that he received the envelope with the results. And the winner was... Benjamin!
Of course, this was quite the disappointment for me (and for Pim, the other finalist), but you can't have it all. With a cheque and some flowers, we left the stage and the night continued as it was supposed to. I got some sweet and comforting words from Esther Vergeer and Monique Kalkman, which made this loss a little better.
After this, it was Jiske her turn to read a bit from her book and to tell her story about her journey to Rio. She also enlightened us about the trouble in her life, that made her road to the top a little more difficult than it had to be. Scottisch mountainclimber, Jamie Andrew, told his story as well. This was very impressive and once he was finished, you could not be anything but happy with what you have got in life.
Main Course was served and then the auction started. It took some time to get the crowd going, but once this was done, it seemed to become quite a positive night for the disabled athletes. The endshow was given by the girls of O'Gene.
At the end of the night, the benefit from the auction was presented to the organisation, by Jetze Plat. The amount was huge, 471,000 Euros!
In the end the night had been amazing, but the disappointment dominated the evening and it still does actually. :(