The Frisian town of Burdaard is planning to erect a statue of Olympic gold medallist Maarten van der Weijden in honour of his charity swim through the Eleven Cities of Friesland.
Translation by Traci White
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that a crowdfunding campaign was launched on Wednesday to fund the effort, but a local artist, Hans Jouta from the nearby town of Ferwert, has offered to build the statue for free. Another regional company will reportedly move the statue into place in Burdaard, which was where Van Der Weijden was forced to stop his epic swim.
The statue will reportedly depict both the challenges Van Der Weijden faced during his swim of the Eleven Cities of the Frisian skating race and the challenges faced in the fight against cancer. The artwork should be completed by the end of 2018.
The money that was raised in the crowdfunding campaign will be donated to the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation. Van Der Weijden swam 163 kilometres in 55 hours in order to raise money for cancer research, and the Olympian and cancer survivor’s charitable efforts have now raised more than 4.5 million euros.