This is the eighth in a series of articles profiling known out and proud Olympic athletes who are openly LGBT. The New Civil Rights Movement will publish one article each day as we move into the London 2012 Olympics.
They call Maartje Paumen “Queen of the Drag Flick” and though she is out and proud, it is not a title meant to deride her sexuality, it is an homage to her signature field hockey shot. Captain of the Dutch National Team, and teammate of Marilyn Agliotti who was profiled earlier in this series, Maartje Paumen is a legend in the field hockey world. Young girls all over the globe flock to hockey camps to learn how to drag flick like Maartje. If you’re curious, watch this short video to see a slow motion replay of Maartje’s effortless drag flick shot that lofts the ball over the heads of the opposing players.
In 2006, the coach of the Dutch National Women’s Team, former Argentine player Max Caldas, named 25-year-old Maartje Paumen team captain. Maartje responded by leading her team to the 2006 World Championship. Two years later, fueled by Maartje’s amazing performance, the team won gold at the 2008 Olympics, where Maartje set a record for most goals scored at an Olympics with eleven, including a hat trick – three goals in the same game – in the semi-final match against Argentina.
If she was good in 2008, she’s even better going into the 2012 Olympics. Maartje’s day job is midfielder for the Dutch Hockey Club, HC Den Bosch which has allowed her plenty of practice time to perfect her game. As the London Olympics get underway, Maartje Paumen is considered the best player in the world, having won the 2011 International Hockey Federation (FIH) player of the year award.
The Dutch team comes into the Olympics number two in the FIH rankings, behind Argentina, the team relegated to the bronze medal by Maartje’s stellar play at the 2008 Olympic Games. China, who Maartje and the Dutch team defeated in the 2008 Olympic gold medal game, is ranked number five. Both Argentina and China will be looking to avenge themselves at these 2012 games. All they have to do is get by out and proud athlete Maartje Paumen, one of the best hopes of the LGBT community to win gold in London.
Follow our series: “2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes?” as we profile all the out LGBT athletes playing in the London 2012 Olympic games.
Image, top, via Facebook
Jean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle. Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter at @uncucumbered.
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