Who am I?
My name is Kaj van den Heuvel, I am a (professional) Alpine skier from the Netherlands. I am 18 years old and I grew up in Utrecht, a nice city in the Netherlands but unfortunately without any mountains. When I was 8 years old I first experienced skiing. I was with my parents on a holiday in Austria, since then we went skiing every year. After a few years I knew for sure that I wanted to become a professional skier! At the age of 13 I skied my first ski races and from then on I became fully focused on one goal: becoming a professional ski racer. What I love about alpine skiing is how it combines speed with technic, to be as fast as possible you need a perfect technic and I really like that. Of course being in the snow and mountains all day is also amazing!
At the moment I just finished high school and Alpine skiing has become the most important thing in my life. Most of the time I am in the mountains for training and international ski races. In winter my focus is on competing in international races, in the summer and pre-season my focus is on training. In my race season I travel all around Europe to ski international FIS-races, at these races you can ski the points that decide your place on the ranking! I am planning to combine my top sports career with a study in the future, but for now I have my main focus on sport.
My vision and goals
Right now my main focus is to get good FIS- points (the points that determine
your place on the international ranglists). When I achieve my goals on the international rankings I can work myself up to the European Cup and hopefully later on to the World Cup. I am convinced that focus and perseverance are the key to success.
But focus and perseverance only won’t take you to to the top, that is why I put in
hard work everyday. Becoming a better ski racer is a process that goes step by step;
nutricion, physical training, ski technical training buts also rest and mental training are all really important. That is why I train hours a day, make sure I rest and sleep enough and have good diet!
My vision goes beyond skiing. One of the things I really love about skiing is the constant connection with nature. The last few years I created a passion for the mountains and therefore for nature. I also learned that if we want to keep our beautiful nature we should be carefull with the earth. I not only watch on my own behaviour, like trying to eat as less as possible meat and taking the train instead of flying, but I also try to work as much as possible with sustainable brands and companies. On the page about my sponsors you can find information about the companies and initiatives that I work with. To be able to reach my goals I also need a good team around me. In the next paragraph I will tell more about the team I have currently around me.
Teamwork makes the dream work! Alone I cannot reach the absolute top, that is why I created a team around me of people who help me to create the excellent circumstances so I can reach my goals. I train together with a group of international skiers and the Austrian coaches from the Racecenter Benni Raich, with Florian Raich as my head coach. I also have my own physio and personal trainer from the Fysio Fabriek and a mentalcoach. But that is not all of it, I also need sponsors who help me to pay the costs of living, training and racing. As a professional skier the costs are very high; for international races I have to travel all around Europe and also the costs of training and materials are considerably high. For example I need about 8 pair of skis every season! And of course I have to live in Austria for a large part of the year. On my page about sponsors you can read about my sponsors, what they do and how we work together!