Jan Ykema is back into skating. A bit more grey than when he won his Olympic silver in 1988, a bit wiser. A man who knows what it is to fall and get back on your feet again. But that was something he already did when he was a 17-year-old.
After his career he started enjoying the good life. Had a business as an estate agent, had a good woman… but fell into what they call the ‘black hole’ after a sporting career. Cocaine became a problem, caused problems. Eventually, he lived in his car on a parking spot in Harlingen.
Since a few years, he is clean, got himself together and held talks in schools to warn young people against addictions. Now he has started as assistent coach with APPM, under supervision of Johan de Wit, the main coach. A lot changed, but Jan is determined to learn and get his coaches’ licence. Much to his joy, Henk Gemser contacted him to help him get that going as fast as possible. And much to his joy, as he put it: “The people who cared for me in the old days, are the people who still care for me.”
He will work in Team APPM, based in Heerenveen, with Jacques de Koning, Lars Elgersma, Boris Kusmirak, Yuri Solinger, Rhian Ket.