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Denisse VAN LAMOEN voted Athlete of the year in Chile

Lausanne – 9 January 2012

The 2011 World Champion in the recurve women category Denisse VAN LAMOEN has received the “Condor de oro”, the highest sports award in Chile.
Photo: El Mercurio
Denisse VAN LAMOEN has been awarded the ultimate sports award in her native Chile at the age of 32, after a sports career that has spanned nineteen years. 

At the end of 2011, the archer was chosen by a large majority as the best Chilean athlete by the Circle of the sports journalists of Chile. This is a reward for the gold medal that she won at the World Archery Championships in Turin, Italy. A historic performance for Chile: Denisse VAN LAMOEN became the first Chilean athlete of any sport to win a World Title in an Olympic sport. Moreover, this medal earned Chile a qualifying place to the London Olympic Games. 

A tearful Denisse told the Chilean newspaper La Tercera that it was “a dream come true”.

She had to overcome numerous obstacles to get where she is today. Her first major international medal came at the 1999 Panamerican Games in Winnipeg, where she won a silver medal. The following year, she became the first archer to represent Chile at the Olympic Games.

A failed doping test in 2002, and law studies kept her away from competitive archery for some time. “The bad moments as much as the good ones have taught me to become stronger, both as an athlete and as a person,” she told the newspaper Emol. Denisse came back to elite archery, and went on to win the World Title in 2011. 

“It’s a renaissance, a reinvention, call it as you want, she told La Tercera. I made a bet to chance some things on the technical level, and here we are. I could have missed my bet, but I had to try at least.”

Nothing would have been possible, she says, without the help of her new coach Martin FREDERICK. The former coach of the German team, who arrived in Chile just one month before the 2011 World Championships, was able to give Denisse what she desperately needed: change the small details that make the big difference. 

Denisse is now focusing on preparation to the London Olympic Games. She will have to surpass her elimination in quarterfinals at the Panamerican Championships. Suffering from a shoulder injury, Denisse VAN LAMOEN was upset by the eventual gold medallist Alejandra VALENCIA (MEX). Denisse’s coach thinks that she has the potential to accomplish something big in London. As for the athlete, she hopes that her coach will stay in Chile until 2016, to the point that the pursuit of her career will depend on him. “I am now preparing for London 2012; after the Games, I’ll take six or seven months to get my diploma as a lawyer, and then I will start thinking about Rio 2016, under the condition that Martin will be with me, I won’t do it without him,” she laughed.

“Every sportsman dreams of winning two competitions”, she adds. “One is the World Championships, the other is the Olympic Games. Now I have managed to win half of that dream. I hope to highlight my career with an Olympic medal. If it doesn’t happen in London, it could be in Rio, we must always go for it, I just hope that it won’t take me too long to succeed!” she concludes with a smile.

La Tercera / Emol

Edited by World Archery Communication  

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