Twelve years into his transformation, he was able to cast the voice of Brabancon at the Beijing Olympics on February 19 this year for his victory in the mass start. However, the Leuven native has never forgotten his first rolling steps and will be the first Olympic champion to compete at the World Games this week.
At the World Games, non-Olympic sports unite every four years in a major multi-sport event. For sports federations of small sports, this is the perfect time to put sports in the spotlight so that they can eventually be included in the Olympic Games programme.
“I started snowboarding when I was eight, I grew up with this sport which I love so much and also want to show that I am good at it. I am looking forward to the World Games,” Swings said before leaving for the United States. “Snowboarding is my passion and I will love it.” Always. I am very proud to win the Olympic gold medal in speed skating, which is also a great sport, but my heart is still pounding.”
Despite his successes last winter, Bart Swings had no problems recharging after Beijing. “I have been training on the road again since April. New goals, like the World Games, are the perfect motivation for me. Of course, there are still goals on the ice, but they will follow in a few months.”
Swings is one of the biggest stars in skateboarding. At the 2013 World Games in Cali, he already won two gold, silver and bronze medals, and in Wroclaw in 2017 they were two gold and one silver. “In Birmingham I will be competing in five majors over four days (July 8-11, editor) and I hope to expand my gold medal collection a bit, and how many more won’t matter.”
“I feel my form is good. In April, I injured my thigh, but I was able to continue training, which made my backlog limited. Today I completely recovered from that injury.” The Leuven resident will participate in both elimination and points races, both on the road and on the track. On the track he also participates in the 1000m race. His biggest specialty, the marathon, is not in the program.
“I will ski for at least another two years and try to reach the Olympics in Milan (in 2026, editor). A lot will depend on whether I am still physically and mentally fit by then. If I can stay at my current level, I will continue in Milan. This is the promise of the first Belgian Olympic champion at the Winter Games in 74 years.