Go For It At Sochi 2014!

Johan Cruyff began his support for athletes to balance sport and studies in 1999. The first 35 student-athletes completed their studies in 2003, and by then the network had already grown with new initiatives. With the start of our online program a few years back we can truly say we have students and alumni – about 5,000 already – around the globe, who share a strong passion for sports and a drive to excel in sport and sport business.

Our global network has grown tremendously, and we see that reflected in sports events such as the Olympic Games. In Vancouver 2010 we witnessed 3 of our Dutch students participating as speed skaters, like when Annette Gerritsen won Silver for the 1000 m. Sochi 2014 has begun, and this time we hope for more medals. Our network will be present with 5 athletes and a coach and a couple of reporters from Johan Cruyff Institute, – University and – College at the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games.

We’re looking out for those fantastic goose bump moments. We hope for top performances, personal growth and celebration, and we´ll take our losses and handle them as learning opportunities.

Please, let us introduce them to you. We hope you´ll follow them with us in this great experience!  And, we wish them the best of luck! GO FOR IT!


Jorik Hendrickx – Figure Skating
Johan Cruyff University Tilburg
Jorik Hendrickx  studies in Tilburg (The Netherlands), but he is from Flanders and will be a part of  Team Belgium. Jorik was very excited about the upcoming Games on Facebook: “I’m leaving for the Olympic Games!!! A childhood dream is coming true.”

Margot Boer – Ice Skating
Johan Cruyff University Amsterdam
Margot Boer participated in Vancouver 2010, were she came in 4th on the 500 m, 6th on the 1000 m and 4th on the 1500 m. At the World Championships in Nagano she got to podium positions on many rides, and came in 4th in the finals at 1000m! At the Games in Sochi, Margot will participate in the 500 m and 1000 m competitions.

Pol Carreras – Skiing
Johan Cruyff Institute Barcelona
Pol Carreras is a young and ambitious alpine skier (slalom) who was guided by the online tutors from Johan Cruyff Institute in Barcelona to access university. Pol on his fan page: “I am very happy. It was one of the most important goals this season. It’s been a long, hard summer with many difficulties. I will try to prepare myself in the best way possible.”

Renate Groenewold – Ice Skating Coach
Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam
Renate Groenewold is currently the coach for Team Corendon, where she guides Marrit Leenstra, Lotte van Beek, Jan Blokhuijsen (NED) en Benjamin Mace (FRA). Renate: “The Master forms you and provides you with a philosophy and a certain way of thinking, and that is something I now apply as a coach. We will go for medals; I feel very confident.”



Bibian Mentel – Paralympic Snowboarding
Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam
Bibian Mentel was preparing for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City when she lost one of her lower legs due to illness. Bibian: “I have become even more determined to achieve my goals.” Bibian won Gold at the World Cup in Canada in January!

Bibian also manages her Mentelity Foundation which focuses on motivating, activating and facilitating children with disabilities through board sports (wake-, snow- and skateboarding).

Merijn Koek – Paralympic Snowboarding
Johan Cruyff College Nijmegen
Merijn Koek is one of those students that are always prepared to help out others, at the Open Day of the Cruyff Foundation for example. Merijn forms part of the team of Bibian Mentel and says on the website of the Dutch Olympic Committee: “Bibian helped me get to where I am now. Besides the Americans, team member Chris Vos will be my biggest competitor. I think we still can learn a lot from each other.”



Maria Danielsson – Reporter / Board Sports
Johan Cruyff Institute Stockholm
Maria is a former professional snowboarder and Olympian, who “has been through both success and setbacks”, she said. In Sochi, Maria will be working for Viasat, an official broadcaster for Sochi 2014 for the Nordic and Baltic countries. “One of my passions in life are board sports. So I am thrilled I can work as an expert commentator at the Olympics.”

Ana Lilia Martínez Cárdenas
Johan Cruyff Institute Mexico
Ana Lilia studied the International Master in the Administration of Football (MINAF) in Mexico and works is in Sochi for America Movil, who bought the broadcasting rights for the Olympics for Latin America.

Ciro Procuna
Ciro Procuna is an alumnus of the second edition of the International Master in the Administration of Football (MINAF) in Mexico and will be covering Sochi for ESPN.

Reyes Santa Olalla – Reporter / Skiing
Johan Cruyff Institute Barcelona
Reyes Santa Olalla is a Spanish skier and competed on the international and Olympic levels. She is a former student of the online version of the International Master of Sport Management. She’s in Sochi as a commentator for Spanish television.


Sochi 2014 - Johan Cruyff Institute

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