on 28 November 1964, Sint-Oedenrode (NB), The Netherlands
As a child Monique had a dream to become a top athlete and sports
teacher. At the age of five she found an old wooden tennis
racket at her parents attic and asked her mother: "Mommy,
may I play tennis"
Her mother answered: "Try it first, then we'll see."
For one week she was practicing until her brother made fun
of her: "That spanner doesn't belong on the racket while
you're playing, it's only to keep the racket straight when
it's not in use."
Who knows Monique has put strength out of that for her later tennis
She became super sporting: hockey, tennis, horseback riding,
waterpolo and sailing. But in hockey she
excelled until at the age of fourteen a tumor was ending her dream
to become a top sportswoman or sports teacher.
Her hockey coach wrote to her: "You where
top scorer, even if your efforts where not 100%."
Monique thought she gave 200%... A month later the tumor was
Through cancer (consequence: paralysis from her waist down) Monique revised her dreams, fitting to her life as a wheelchair user.
In 1984 she became a Paralympic champion in table tennis and
switched to wheelchair tennis in 1986. From 1992 to 1996 she won
three Paralympic medals and four world championships in wheelchair
tennis. She became the first and only female athlete in two
different individual sports winning golden Paralympic medals.
Instead of becoming a sports teacher, she became an ambassador and
eventually she gained a European management position with her
existing sponsor Sunrise Medical, manufacturer of amongst other
things equipment for people with disabilities. As part of that
international job Monique was living in the UK for
six years and moved back to The Netherlands in 2003.
Because of cancer and by chemo therapy caused early menopause
symptoms, Monique's chances of becoming a mother appeared to be
insignificant but in 2000 her son Justin was born.
In the meantime living and working in The Netherlands, Monique says
it's time for new challenges. Since August 1th 2007 she's working as
Manager Innovation and Participation at Welzorg, the largest supplier of equipment for
people with disabilities in the Netherlands.