Dutchman Jan Kalden, a physically disabled top athlete, has established the world record for hand-cycling. The ex-commando, who lost both legs in an accident in 1998, completed 456.4 km in 24 hours on a course around The IJsselmeer (The Netherlands) on September 25. On Friday afternoon, the former Belgian international goalkeeper, Jean-Marie Pfaff, will present the world record trophy to Jan Kalden in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands.
For the record attempt, Kalden put together an international team, consisting of David Abrutat (United Kingdom), Nigel Barley (Australia), Guy Rappé (Belgium), Matt Updike (United States) and Thomas Schmicking (Germany). Kalden and his team were filmed over the 24 hours by a film crew led by Ruud van Gessel and Jan Pool, well known from the Dutch NCRV TV network series 'Veertig!' [Forty], in which Jan Kalden played a leading role.
"It was heavy going, but we made it," said Kalden. "I hope that through our triumph this weekend we can inspire people from all over the world. Anything is possible if you believe in it. It's priceless, being able to put in a performance like that with a team of friends and with my colleagues behind me for extra support."
The hand-cycling team was sponsored by MasterCard Europe. The money raised during this world record attempt will go to the development of special wheelchairs for disabled children. Jan's colleagues and supporters are supporting this campaign and are helping him with the logistical organisation. "We're supporting this because we greatly value Jan as a colleague, and his demonstration of the remarkable results that disabled athletes are capable of. We wish Jan and his team members many more Priceless moments", said Vanessa Didden, MasterCard Marketing Manager, Benelux.