Maarten the motivational speaker
According to Maarten, even during uncertain times, happiness is closely tied to setting and achieving goals. In order to set and achieve your goals, it's important you know who you are and where you come from. Maarten wants to inspire others to become the best version of themselves – personal and professional – and to find acceptation when life isn't what you want it to be.
Maarten’s goal for the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation is to raise funds for cancer research. He is committed to increasing the chances of cancer recovery. To achieve this goal, Maarten is raising funds by means of swimming. On June 24, 2019, Maarten successfully swam, non-stop, the '11stedenzwemtocht', a famous Dutch 195 km route (also known as the 'Elfstedentocht', the route is normally used for speed skating competitions). One month after successfully swimming the 11stedenzwemtocht, the foundation has raised approximately 6.4 million euros with donations still being collected. Including the 5 million euros raised from Maarten’s first attempt in 2018 (Maarten swam 163 km, but was unable to finish due to health reasons), the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation has collected over 11 million euros for cancer research.
Married to Daisy, father of Phileine (2014) and Robien (2017).
Former cancer patient
Maarten was diagnosed with cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) in 2001. He was lucky to recover. According to Maarten, having cancer means having bad luck. You don't have to be a fighter to get better, you have to be lucky.
Maarten won Olympic gold in open water swimming (10 km) at the Olympic Games in Beijing (2008).
Maarten founded the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation. In less than a year, the foundation has collected over 11 million euros for cancer research. This was made possible through donations received for Maarten’s non-stop swim of the 195 km, 11stedenzwemtocht. In 2018, Maarten made his first attempt at swimming the 11stedenzwemtocht and raised 5 million euros. In 2019 he successfully completed the 11stedenzwemtocht, raising over 6 million euros.
Motivational speaker and theatre practitioner.