The best rowers connected to the Leiden University compete against the eights (rowing teams) of other Dutch universities. After a year of competitive rowing at Asopos de Vliet , I was allowed to train with Irene Eijs in the summer of 1997. She studied biology in Leiden, rowed with Njord and took bronze with the women's team at the 1996 Olympics. In the years that followed, I felt honored to be part of the Leiden University eight myself. We competed against the eight from Delft University with Eeke van Nes, also an Olympic rower and together with Irene medalist in 1996. It was a great honor and a pleasure to experience this.