Loena Hendrickx (BEL) performs during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages
Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx belongs to the best Figure Skaters in the world and is the best female Skater her country ever had. She ranked fifth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 and continued to do very well this season. She won bronze at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Gran Premio d’Italia in Turin, becoming the first female Skater from Belgium to earn a Grand Prix medal.
Maiia Khromykh (RUS), Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) and Loena Hendrickx (BEL) pose in the Women's medal ceremony during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2021 in Turin (ITA) @ISU (International Skating Union)
Loena went on to finish second in the Short Program and fourth overall at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2022 in Tallinn. “I feel very proud. The seasons before I struggled with a lot of injuries and to come back at the highest level is something special,” she noted. “It is amazing to have achieved such high placements and I will continue to work and hopefully can achieve more placements like this.”
Loena Hendrickx (BEL) performs during the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2022 in Tallinn (EST) @ISU (International Skating Union)
The 22-year-old competed in her second Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in February and finished a respectable eighth, after coming 16th in her Olympic debut in 2018. “It felt amazing to be at my second Olympics,” Loena said. “I never thought I would make it again after all the injuries I’ve been through after the 2018 Olympics. That’s why I feel more proud of my achievements at these Olympics. I am also very thankful to share another Olympics with my brother and also my coach now.”
Hendrickx is coached by her older brother Jorik, who competed at the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 and 2018. Loena came back motivated following her experience in Beijing. “I’m sure to continue for four more years, because the love and passion for the sport is enormous. Also I still believe in clean sport,” she pointed out.
Loena Hendrickx and coach Jorik Hendrickx (BEL) pictured during a training session at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages
Her eighth place finish in Beijing that resulted in an Olympic diploma is another reason to be proud and happy. “I went home after the closing ceremony. My two oldest brothers and my mom and dad organized a party for all the people who supported me, so I got a lot of letters, flowers and presents. So nice to feel how proud everyone was for my results at the Olympics,” Loena said. The Skater as well met Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde in a reception for Belgian’s top Olympians. The King and Queen recognized the efforts of the athletes and posed with them for photos.
The Belgian Champion was invited to the shows of “Art on Ice” in Switzerland following the Olympic Games and love that experience, but now she is back to work. “I’m preparing myself for Worlds at my home rinks in Tilburg and Eindhoven both in the Netherlands as well as in Deurne in Belgium,” she shared. However, right now her training sessions are limited after she injured her groin a few days ago.
Nevertheless, Loena is looking forward to Montpellier. “I kind of see each competition as a new start and I want to perform as well as possible. It is not easy to perform always clean, but I really enjoy skating and I think that is the most important. I’m happy to skate my programs one more time (at the World Championships) and this time there will be watching a lot of Belgian people,” she explained.
Following the World Championships, Loena is planning for a nice vacation to rest her body and mind. Her favorite place for a vacation is “somewhere where it is warm, with sun and a beach, the sea – everything to relax.”