Verona van de Leur: ‘When you have no food you do anything to survive’

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Dutchwoman was among Europe’s best gymnasts in 2002 but she became penniless and homeless after a bitter dispute with her family and coaches

When Verona van de Leur thinks back to the days at the turn of the century when she was one of the best gymnasts in the world, every syllable in her voice is laced with pride.

She emerged in 2001 as the leader of an unlikely Dutch gymnastics boom in a sport dominated by post-Soviet giants. At the 2002 European championships she won five medals before snatching a silver on floor at the world championships; she was named Dutch sportswoman of the year. As the Netherlands wondered what the future held for its new sporting star, nobody could have imagined it would see her homeless, then in jail, before she picked up the pieces of her life in the pornography industry.

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Written by Tumaini Carayol
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/12/verona-van-de-leur-gymnast-no-food-anything-survive-interview under the title “

Verona van de Leur: ‘When you have no food you do anything to survive’

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