In sports, there are players who show up and put on a solid performance, and then there are players who step onto the field and change the game with a single swing.
Nicolas De Kerpel falls into the second category without fail.
Born in Belgium, the fierce defender has been breaking barriers on the field since he was just four years old. With an impressive skill set and a style to match, Nicolas went on to play internationally, collecting 81 caps for his country, and even a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Now playing for the Royal Herakles Hockey, Nicolas continues to raise the bar in the sport and display what it means to be a true #ImpactPlayer, both on and off the field.
We recently caught up with the legendary goal scorer to discover a bit more about his remarkable career thus far and the secret to his killer swing.
When did you start playing hockey and why is it your sport of choice?
I started playing hockey in 1997 when I was 4 years old. My parents were both members of the Herakles hockey club.
Most memorable hockey moment so far?
It’s hard to choose between the World Cup 2018, Euro 2019 and the 2020 Olympics.
The World Cup was our first big victory which changed everything, while the Euro was in front of our Belgian crowd and my girlfriend was one of the big organisers of the tournament. The Olympics is the biggest stage in sports/hockey, so having a gold medal is absolutely crazy!
What are the top 3 things you have learnt so far in your career?
- Enjoy every moment
- You can always improve
- The team is the most important!
What keeps you motivated as an athlete?
Friends, collectively achieving big things and having fun on the pitch.
When you’re not making an impact on the hockey field, what else are you doing?
Resting, podcasting, and meeting up with friends.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Probably having the same lifestyle as today. Working and living in Belgium, and still playing hockey at the highest level.
Hamburger with vegetables and a good sauce, and french fries of course. Poke bowl is a close second.
Top travel destination
Anywhere that has beautiful diving spots.
Gryphon stick of choice
The Tour Pro-25.
The Instagram page you can’t live without
As Nicolas plunges into yet another challenging season, there’s no doubt that he will put on a stellar performance and perhaps even break a few records in the process. The skilled player also looks forward to competing in the 2023 World Cup next year, which promises to be one for the books.
Nicolas showcases his favourite skills. Watch here.