Things about me
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Name: Els Visser
Date of Birth: 03-04-1990
Birthplace: Haren, The Netherlands
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 54 kg
Medicine, Univeristy Utrecht
PhD Surgery, University Utrecht
Semira Bontognali, Trisutto
Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
My triathlon story is a unique one, and it’s just the beginning. A PhD in surgery and a shipwreck survivor in Indonesia. My road to professional triathlon is extraordinary. As a proud Dutchie I enjoyed various sports growing up until I turned my full attention to studying medicine in 2008. Studying was alway my main priority, I was an ambitious student and wanted to achieve good results. Besides, I made sure that I had a good student time. I joined the oldest female students sorority ‘de Utrechtse Vrouwelijke Studenten Vereeniging, UVSV’, lived in a sorority house, and was chairperson of the sorority during one year (2011-2012). During this time I made my closest friends, developed my personal and my leadership skills, and it brought me a big network.
My studies allowed me to travel the world but it also changed my life profoundly. In 2014, while traveling in Indonesia, a boat I had taken with 24 other passengers sank in the middle of the night. Clinging for life in the wreckage, I swam 8 hours to a nearby island where I was finally rescued by a passing boat the next day. My harrowing experience prompted me to live my life to the fullest and follow my dreams.
I wanted to be an Ironman. I did my first triathlon in 2016 and first Ironman in Switzerland in 2017. With an open mind, a “never look back” attitude, and untapped potential, I officially entered the pro triathlon ranks in 2017. A year later, I won my first Ironman title and became an Ironman Champion in my home country . In 2019, I made my debut in Kona and finished with a 16th place in the professional field. Only 3 years after my first ever race. My mission is to finish podium in Kona.
Next to my triathlon career, I have different goals. I am a doctor and I have finished my PhD in Surgery in November 2019. It is the end of my surgical career, but still I want to develop myself in the medical world, because this is where I have passion for. I believe it’s the perfect combination being a doctor and triathlete to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, aiming to prevent diseases and increase happiness. In the coming years I will use my audience and podia to focus on this topic.
“Also I try to inspire people with my story to live their life to the fullest and never hold back by giving inspirational talks”
My mission is to finish podium in Kona. I am looking forward to all things that will happen. One thing for sure, I believe in myself, will push myself to the limit and I will make the most out of it.