Heavyweight Tessie Savelkouls will retire as top judoka with immediate effect. The Dutch Olympian competed twice at the Olympic Games and won gold at the IJF World Masters, among other precious medals. With her successful rehabilitation towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo, she also inspired sports enthusiasts in the Netherlands. Savelkouls will now focus on completing her study as a teacher.
Savelkouls: "It's time to say goodbye, to let go, to start something else. After a lot of thinking and listening to my feelings, I've decided to stop my career as a top athlete I can't say I'm proud of the results I've achieved over the years because I'm not I feel there was a lot more for me to achieve I can say that I'm proud of the moments I've had with all the beautiful people I've met. I've learned so much from you and I'll take that with me for the rest of my life. Thank you all." With those words, Tessie Savelkouls announced her farewell via Instagram this morning.
Savelkouls won the IJF World Masters in 2019 and was on the podium at the 2018 European Championships in Tel Aviv. In total, the Judo TeamNL judoka won ten medals on the IJF World Tour, including gold at the Grand Slams in Abu Dhabi and Baku.
Still, Savelkouls delivered perhaps her greatest performance off the match mat. In 2020 Savelkouls was seriously injured during the Grand Slam in Paris. Doctors gave her a 1% chance of recovery after sustaining that injury. With a lot of perseverance and positivity, Savelkouls managed to amaze friend and foe a year and a half later with her successful return to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.