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Gymnastics Wins Big at Dutch Year-End Awards
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Gymnastics picked up three trophies Wednesday night at the Dutch Olympic Committee-Dutch Sport Federation's year-end gala. Olympic champion Sanne Wevers won Sportswoman of the Year, while her coach and father Vincent Wevers won Coach of the Year. Pictured: The Wevers family on the red carpet, with Sanne on the right and her twin, Lieke, on the left, flanking parents Gemma and Vincent.

Gymnastics picked up three trophies Wednesday night at the Dutch Olympic Committee-Dutch Sport Federation's year-end gala in Amsterdam, with victories for Olympic champion Sanne Wevers (Sportswoman of the Year), Vincent Wevers (Coach of the Year) and Eythora Thorsdottir (Young Talent of the Year).


Eythora Thorsdottir won Young Talent of the Year

Sanne Wevers, whose original and nearly flawless routine in the Olympic balance beam final won her the first-ever individual Olympic gold for a Dutch female gymnast, won Sportswoman of the Year.

Wevers is the sixth Dutch gymnast to win the honor after Klaas Boot (1959), Ans van Gerwen (1972), Verona van de Leur (2002), Yuri van Gelder (2005) and Epke Zonderland (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). The winners are selected by Dutch journalists.

"It's fantastic to be able to receive this great prize," the 25-year-old Wevers told the audience at the RAI Arena. "It was a great year in which I lived up to my dream. My heart is through the roof here. As a little girl, I'd always dreamed I'd be able to make it to the Olympics, a dream all gymnasts hope. In Rio I got emotional the day before the (balance beam) final. I realized that everything was worth it; all the sacrifices and work. Everything had been a success."

Vincent Wevers won Coach of the Year following the Netherlands' success in Rio de Janeiro. The team's surprise decision to skip the European championships in the spring to focus on the Olympic Games paid off big in August. In addition to Sanne's gold medal on balance beam, the Dutch women placed seventh in the team final and Thorsdottir ninth in the all-around. Sanne's twin sister, Lieke Wevers, also qualified to the all-around final, finishing 20th.

"[This is] a very special honor," said Vincent Wevers, who especially thanked his daughters. "You'd be lucky just to coach two athletes like that every day. Therefore I'm twice as lucky because I'm also their father."

Thorsdottir, 18, won Young Talent of the Year, also a first for gymnastics. Her ninth place in Rio de Janeiro was the best-ever result for a Dutch gymnast at the Olympic Games.

Car racer Max Verstappen won Male Athlete of the Year, while women's rowing duo Maaike Head and Ilse Paulis, the Olympic and European champions, won Team of the Year. Swimmer Liesette Bruinsma was named Paralympic Athlete of the Year.

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