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VERVOORT Marieke
Sport Para athletics
NPC Belgium   
GenderWomen
Age41
Place of BirthDiest, BEL
Height1.67 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T52
Further Personal Information
Languages
Dutch, English, Spanish
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
Previously a Para triathlete, she began wheelchair racing in 2011.
Why this sport?
"I love wheeling."
Senior International Debut
Year
2006
Competing for
Belgium
Location
Hamburg, GER
General Interest
Nicknames
Wielemie, The Beast from Diest (Twitter profile, 17 Aug 2016; demorgen.be, 03 Aug 2016)
Most influential person in career
Coach Jo Cooman. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Hero / Idol
Belgian footballer Vincent Kompany. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Injuries
In early 2016 she underwent surgery on her bladder. (demorgen.be, 03 Aug 2016; nieuwsblad.be, 22 Jun 2015)

She injured her shoulder at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France. She underwent surgery and returned to competition at the 2014 Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland. (paralympic.org, 17 May 2014; nieuwsblad.be, 09 May 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Believe you can." (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named Belgian Paralympic Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2015. (Twitter profile, 17 Aug 2016; paralympic.org, 18 Dec 2012)

She received the 2014 National Trophy Victor Boin from the Belgian Paralympic Committee. (paralympic.org, 22 Jan 2015)
Other sports
She won a world title in Para triathlon. (wielemie.be, 18 Jun 2014)
Impairment
At age 15 she was diagnosed with a rare progressive muscle condition, which resulted in paraplegia. She began using a wheelchair in 2000. (sporza.be, 30 Jul 2016; wielemie.be, 18 Jun 2014; paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)
Other information
PASSED AWAY
She ended her life through euthanasia in October 2019. She had received assisted suicide approval from three different doctors in Belgium, where euthanasia is legal, due to the pain she experienced from her progressive muscle condition. "I feel different about death now than years ago. For me I think death is something like they operate on you, you go to sleep and you never wake up. For me it's something peaceful," she said in 2016. (theguardian.com, 23 Oct 2019; paralympic.org, 23 Oct 2019)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2012 200m T52 34.83
1 2012 100m T52 19.69
2 2016 400m T52 1:07.62
3 2016 100m T52 20.12
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2015 200m T52 35.91
1 2015 100m T52 20.39
Heats 2015 800m T53  DSQ
1 2015 400m T52 1:08.40