Marieke Wijsman

Anne Marie Louise (Marieke) Wijsman (born 9 May 1975) is a former Dutch speed skater who represented her country at two Winter Olympics and who was the first female speed skater to compete internationally on clap skates.

Wijsman, born in Leusden became a member of a local speed skating club in Ankeveen during he 1988-89 season. Her first competitive races as a 13-year old were at the Jaap Edenbaan in Amsterdam, where she fell on the 500 m due to the nerves she had. The second 500 m race she recovered and finished in 1:07.1, while her first competitive 1000 m was skated in 2:44.0 that same weekend. Her first ever competitive races with her team she skated 53.10 at the 500 m and 2:53.8 at the 1500 m. In the upcoming years she improved year after year while her training capabilities were set to a higher level as well.

In 1992 she appeared at a Dutch national championship for the first time as she participated in the Supersprint Championships held in Groningen and finishes in 17th position. Then in 1994 she became 8th during the Dutch national junior A allround championships, which earns her a spot into a regional district team. While in this district team she raced her first international race in December 1995, which was a nations clash in Hamar where the 1994 Winter Olympics were held. At the 1996 KNSB Dutch Single Distance Championships Wijsman crowned herself as the Dutch national 1500 m champion in Groningen.

This success promoted her into a nationwide team led by Eddy Verheijen. She qualifies herself for World Cup meetings in South Korea and Japan and became the first female skater who competed in international races on clap skates. A Japanese newspaper interviewed her and wrote an article about her. Her first victory was won on 11 January 1997 in Milwaukee where she won the 1000 m of the B-Group. Later in 1997 she was promoted again, this time into the Kernploeg, which is the highest possible team managed by the KNSB, which was led by Peter Mueller.

She took part in World Cups (won two B-Group races over 1000 and 1500 m in Baselga di Pine and Innsbruck, World Sprint Championships in Hamar (20th) and also qualified herself for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. In Nagano she finished 24th on the 500 m and 20th at the 1000 m. Later that year she also showed up at the World Single Distance Championships over 1500 m in Calgary where she finished in 13th position. The following year she finished in 6th position in the World Cup standings and 9th at the World Single Distance Championships, both over 1500 m. She qualified for the 2000 European and World Allround Championships, finishing in 11th and 14th position respectively. In February 2000 she won a bronze medal at the Dutch Sprint Championships in Utrecht as well as finishing 18th at the Sprint World Championships in Seoul.

In January 2001 she won another World Cup race in the B-Group, this time a 1000 m race in Helsinki. A month later she fell hard and suffered a skull fracture and after she recovered she was not selected for any of the kernploeg teams any longer. She trained in Marianne Timmer's professional team for a while, but this team did not last long and was on her own again. However, in that period she won another B-Group World Cup meeting over 500 m in Heerenveen, won another bronze medal at the Dutch national sprint championships, finished 11th in the World Sprint Championships and qualified for her second Olympics where she took part in the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. She finished in both the 500 m as the 1000 m in 18th position. With help by Tjalling van den Bosch she found herself some sponsors to start her own professional team. During the summer of 2002 she trained with Peter Mueller again, but when Van den Bosch became a fitness coach at the American national team she moved with him to Salt Lake City again to prepare for the 2004 season and for the 2006 Winter Olympics, resulting in a silver medal at the 2003 Dutch sprint championships. At the World sprint championships she did only reach the 23rd spot, but at the 2003 World Single Distance Championships she in 12th (500m) and 13th (1000m) position.

Although her relationship with Van den Bosch was good they decided to go their own way at the end of the 2004-05 season and after finishing 23rd at the World Sprint Championships Wijsman mentally needed something different. Since June 2005 she trained with the KNSB regional top team again. In this team she participated in World Cup meetings again as well as the World Sprint Championships in Heerenveen where she became 16th. She won a B-Group race over 1000 m in Milwaukee, but was unable to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics. In the summer of 2006 she applied for a job with the police and was hired. A contract signed between the police station and the KNSB made sure she was still able to compete in speed skating while learning to become an allround police officer. Together with Frouke Oonk she became part of the team of Chris Witty, who quit her international career after the Olympics and started training her own team.

However in late December 2006 Marieke Wijsman decided to end her international career as a speed skater immediately and concentrate on her future job as a police officer for 100 percent. Her last notable result was a B-Group World Cup win over 500 m in Heerenveen on 11 November 2006.

Wijsman is openly lesbian.