Selma Poutsma’s name had been listed among the Dutch for years, nowadays, however she contributes to the successes of France. The lady, who turned 18 this Spring used to live in Den Haag, but moved to Font-Romau in France. She could step the podium once so far, as member of the third place winner relay team of France at the World Cup in her homeland in Dordrecht. 3000m relay).
Selma, it is an interesting name. Where does it origin from?
People always tell me that it is Turkish. I think it was at the World Junior’s in Sofia that someone came up to me and noticed that my name is from there.
Why did you choose this sport?
My grandad was into skating, on the long track. In the Netherlands, where I grew up, the short track is situated inside the big one. One day, I was skating there, and we – me and my dad – saw people skating on the little rink and my dad asked me if I would try it. I did, and after that day, I was keep telling him that I wanted to go back there.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
Gliding, I like the way of gliding on the ice. And speed. I watch the races, mostly the men’s heats. And I realise how unpredictable this sport is. It is so spectacular.
Do you consider yourself being more Dutch or being more French?
Well, I feel Dutch. I spent most of my life in Holland but I also feel that a little part of me is also French. Now, I speak the language and spend most of my time in France. Although, in my heart, I’m still Dutch, my home is the Netherlands and all my family live there.
Why did you choose competing in blue instead of staying with your roots and using the high-quality Dutch facilities and training environment?
Three years ago, I had this opportunity and I had to choose between joining the Dutch Junior team or moving to France. I chose the second because learning a new language, a new culture seemed to be more interesting. It was a big adventure so I wanted to try it. Now I feel I complete the team, as a member of the relay.
What would you say, what are the main differences of your life, after moving to France?
In the Netherlands, we don’t have boarding schools, so living with other people was a great change to me. Also because of that, I don’t really live like a normal teenage girl, so most of the time I see the school and the ice rink, nothing else. Of course we had some smaller differences, I have learnt a lot of new things, but living together, that was a huge difference.
If we look at it from the side of the sport, before coming to France, I had only three trainings a week and besides that I was able to train at the long track and dancing too, but now I have one or two trainings a day so I have been able to make a big progress.
What are your expectations regarding this competition?
I try to advice myself not to have any but I have a goal which is to qualify with the relay and maybe myself at 500 meters to the Olympics. I will do every single race one by one, and see how it ends, I’ll try my best.