For about a quarter of a century, Bettine Vriesekoop was the best Dutch table tennis player. She was also among the top European players, winning three European titles (singles 1982, 1992, mixed doubles 1982) and the European Top-12 tournament in 1982 and 1985. Known for her harsh and intensive training regime - introduced by her coach Gerard Bakker - Vriesekoop retired following the Seoul Olympics, only to return the next year. In 1999, she gave birth to a son, but her child's father died a little earlier. Seeing table tennis as a way to escape from his loss, she won her 14th Dutch singles title (and 30th overall) in 2002. During training in China, Vriesekoop became interested in the country, and studied sinology. She has since published two books on China, and has settled in Beijing as a freelance correspondent for several Dutch newspapers. Vrieskoop, labelled "Dutch Table Tennis Player of the Century" in 2000, was also named Dutch Sportswoman of the Year twice, in 1981 and 1985.