Jutta Leerdam talks about the dark sides of her skating career: ‘I get sick when I see this again’ | To skate

Jutta Leerdam is one of the most successful Dutch skaters of recent years. But that the life of a top athlete is not always a bed of roses, the 24-year-old Westland knows better than anyone. She was a guest on Sunday night College Tour and spoke at length about her eating problem, her darkest period in skating and her controversial relationship with Jake Paul.

Leerdam is a striking appearance. She doesn’t mince words and likes to be in the spotlight. She also found it no problem at all to indicate in an interview to the whole of the Netherlands that she was suffering from her period. “I am very open as a person. My whole team knows when I’m on my period. Every woman has that, so it’s okay if I just say it out. I’ve had a lot of responses to that. Also people who have that problem themselves on the work floor. I think it opened certain doors for women.”

Leerdam’s obsession

In fact, she’s glad she’s getting her period again at all. There was a long period in which she no longer became that and that had to do with her extreme eating pattern. “It was always in my head that I had to be super disciplined. So I focused on eating as healthy as possible. I was so hard on myself and after two years I noticed that my strength was completely gone. I was playing that game all day: can I or can’t I? And that gives satisfaction when it succeeds.”

Jake has, of course, portrayed himself in a certain way online.

Jutta Leerdam

While she herself believed that this was best for her performance, her body slammed on the brakes. “Ultimately you are the enemy of yourself. My skating got worse and worse and I broke down all my muscles. At one point I was in the shower and I actually had strands of hair in my hands. For years I didn’t get my period. I wouldn’t call it anorexia, but it was an obsession. Your body is just so tired of getting too little food. It’s just super unhealthy.”

Leerdam changed her diet. Still strict, but a little more humane and the successes followed quickly. But not everything is rose scent and moonshine. In conversation with Twan Huys, Leerdam looked back on the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing on the basis of images, where she won a silver medal. “I am very disappointed about this. I don’t look back on this very well. I was all alone at those Games. I had no teammates who qualified. We were isolated anyway and I was also in a difficult situation in my relationship at the time. I was very emotional and really not happy.”

Jutta Leerdam and relations

At that time Leerdam was still together with her ex-boyfriend Koen Verweij. That was only the second relationship she ever had. “I have had three boyfriends in total. I never wanted to feel like anyone could just get me. I may be unreachable in that, but that’s who I am.” The relationship with Verweij came to an end after more than five years. Now she’s with YouTuber Jake Paul, who has had plenty to do in the past.

Jutta Leerdam and Jake Paul.
Jutta Leerdam and Jake Paul. © YouTube

Leerdam therefore received many reactions to this relationship. “I am very much in love and I am really on a pink cloud. Men in particular share their opinions via Instagram. He has, of course, portrayed himself in a certain way online. But he’s super sweet and none badboy. There are men who think I belong to them. I find that scary. Then they can easily hate on Jake. I’ve never had a boy who has so much respect for me.”

Future plans

In the coming years, the skater hopes to focus mainly on her career. Because the impressive times she drives now must be even more impressive. “I want to go to the men’s times. Normally there is six seconds between the times of the men and women in the 1000 meters. I am already really closing that gap and it must be as small as possible.”

And what life after skating will bring her? The self-assured Leerdam already knows that, of course. “I really want to become a mother. That is my biggest goal after my career.”