Emmanuel Stockbroekx: Olympic Star of Europe
A recently-made Olympic star, Belgian-born Emmanuel Stockbroekx recently brought home a silver medal from winning the hockey finals at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, proudly titled “Man of the Game”. Having started his hockey career at 18, Emmanuel sacrificed a comfortable living away from his friends and family to train hard as part of his daily routine, spending time at training camps and eventually outperforming his teammates in physical tests.
“I trained as if every game is an Olympic game,” he says. “Without that focus, you don’t become number one.” While hockey is not a top sport on a global level, the sport resonated strongly with Emmanuel, who had formerly tried sailing, football and tennis before making a commitment. Through his chosen sport, his goal was to inspire his country.
“Our nation Belgium has never had an Olympic medal in a team sport,” Emmanuel commented when sharing his thoughts on Rio. “The key values of the Olympics are excellence, friendship and respect. When you walk around, you feel as though you are in touch with the whole world, with every culture, it’s magical. Then, to perform as one of the best teams in your field is indescribable… We are a group of people who believe in the same goals and values. We wanted to make our country proud and show that it was worth fighting for.”
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