Jaap Visser - Editor/publisher of publishing company De Buitenspelers
Why is a publisher interested in making a network book for a speed skating pioneer?
"Because Marnix Wieberdink is that skating pioneer. Had anyone else asked us we would have said: sorry, but we really don't have the time. We are a small publisher, specialized in luxury sports books and are currently very busy with the anniversary book of FC Groningen, a spectacular reissue of the biography of Coen Moulijn, we preparing the biography of Jan van Beveren and I am currently writing the biography of Edwin van der Sar myself. Moreover, we also transfer to art, with the biography of Freek de Jonge. These are all huge issues, tiles we call them ourselves, and they need to be published before the summer. "But hey, saying no to Marnix is useless, because he will not stop asking. It is easier to refuse a Jehovah's Witness than Mr. Wieberdink. "
How do you know him, Mr. Wieberdink?
"From a project that I ever did for Yacht. They asked me to make a booklet about the skaters that they sponsored and Marnix was supporting. Among them, Martina Sablikova, a spindly, hardly speaking Czech girl and her enthusiastic coach Petr Novak. Of course Marnix can be proud of the success of Sablikova, but I immediately saw something special in that wonderful couple as well. Their ambition and confidence were so obvious that I have emphasized that heavily in that book. "
So an expert in skating area?
"Well, no, not really. I really like to go out on the ice if there is natural ice and I have a reasonable technique for this, but a connoisseur, no. Within the publishing company, we do like skating and Marnix knew that perfectly well. He had seen our publication Ard Schenk, de biografie, perhaps the most beautiful book ever in skating. And he knew Rondje 25 rond that we had made on behalf of AEGON, about 25 years of skating sponsorship. Then he knew that he had to come to us for this initiative. And he also felt I have sympathy for him. Marnix belongs to a small group of people who can enthuse others and to somehow simultaneously energize them. That is why so many people are busy for him. "