Jeroen Straathof is an ex-speed skater (Olympic Winter Games, 1994), and Track Cyclist (Olympic Summer Games, 2004). He also became Paralympic Champion in the 4km Pursuit (tandem, Cycling) as pilot of the Dutch para sportsman Jan Mulder. The 50-year-old inhabitant of the city of Leiden – the Netherlands is the face, and voice, of the inaugural European Para Championships.

Straathof is Tournament Director of the ‘EPC’. The event will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from 8 to 20 August 2023. The European Championships of ten different parasports will be organized simultaneously in one host city, for the very first time. At the event, 1,500 Paralympic athletes from forty-five different European countries will compete to become European Champions.

Straathof: “ Bringing these beautiful para sports together in one tournament will cause a flywheel effect. We will give the para sports the attention they deserve by making connections, dreaming big, and taking chances where others only see limitations. I was active at the Paralympics of Sydney in 2000, but this is the first time that this many para sports will come to the people trough so called city center courts, instead of bringing the people to the para sports. The European Para Championships is unique in this aspect”.