This is where Nils van der Poel begins his new life
He has packed away his skates. Instead of sharpening skate blades, Nils van der Poel now sharpens his arguments in lectures for business leaders.
Spring is in the air. The pandemic restrictions are over. And life is slowly returning to normal. The entrepreneurs in Kungälv gather for a gala to award the municipality’s entrepreneur of the year. Record numbers have signed up. The big draw is Nils van der Poel. After a double Olympic gold and world record in the 10,000 metre skating, he is sought after as a lecturer.
“A young person who has such a clear goal of their own. And he stands for it fully without being arrogant. It’s a hallmark of his,” says Roger Boström, Vice Chairman of Företagarna i Kungälv.
For an hour, van der Poel treats the audience to a mixture of anecdotes from his career and life wisdom about goals and failures.
“It’s not easy speaking in front of an audience when everyone already knows how my story ends,” he begins, drawing the first laugh of the evening.
He has the audience in his hand. He enthrals them as he paces back and forth across the stage, gesturing.
“It was not at all what I expected. It was something completely different and so much more,” says Camilla Gillholm, CEO and food shop owner, afterwards.
“He talked about not only setting goals but also looking at what goals I don’t want. It’s important to me both in business and when I think about my own children.”
Nils van der Poel has just started his new journey.
“Exactly where all this ends I don’t know, but it doesn’t feel like it’s the ending that’s the most interesting thing either,” he says.