Arjan Robben and Dirk Kuyt may be household names the world over, but this year they have to leave the strongest brand title to long track speed skater Sven Kramer.
A poll held by Hendrik Beerda Brand Consultancy confirms this. The first woman in the list of strongest brands is Ireen Wüst, also a speed skater, taking the number three spot between the two strikers.
A similar poll two years ago had football goalie Edwin van der Sar in the lead, but he has retired since then.
The Elfstedentocht and the Olympic Games switched positions as the most popular events, the latter taking over the number one spot, followed by the World Cup football and the Tour de France. The European Football Championship only came in fifth among events.
Outside the Netherlands Sven Kramer is perhaps best known for the gold medal he failed to win at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics due to a technicality. He has been ruling supreme in long distance and all-round championships since 2007, although he had to skip the 2010-2011 season due to an injury.
(Link: Algemeen Dagblad. Photo of Sven Kramer by Mingo Hagen, some rights reserved)
Tags: Arjan Robben, Dirk Kuyt, dressage, Euro 2012, football, football players, Ireen Wüst, speed skating, Sven Kramer
The Olympic athletes arrived home today, and they were given a warm welcome at the 1928 Olympic stadium in Amsterdam. I live right around the corner, and decided to take my crummy old digital camera there. As luck would have it, the organizers had decided that the athletes would enter through the front gate, where there is ample opportunity for non-accredited press (i.e. l’il ole me) to climb onto flowerbeds and the pedestals of pompous statues.
Below you see Anky van Grunsven (gold, dressage) being interviewed by famous sports presenter Tom Egberts. It was very hard to get a photo of her not grinning like a maniac, but here she had to be serious for a moment. She was one of the first there, and being a gold medal winner had to wait until the end to enter the stadium, and she was all smiles all the time.
More below the fold…
Tags: Amsterdam, cycling, dressage, judo, military, Olympic Games, olympic stadium, protests, security, swimming