Maurits Hendriks, technical director of top-level sports for the Olympic Committee of the Netherlands (NOC*NSF) and TeamNL, is seen as the architect of the success of Dutch top-level sports. Hendriks himself was chef de mission of the Dutch Olympic teams in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Under his leadership, the Netherlands captured a total of 127 medals at the Olympic Games in Vancouver (2010), London (2012), Sochi (2014), Rio de Janeiro (2016), Pyeongchang (2018) and Tokyo (2020), including 44 gold, 39 silver and 44 bronze. In Tokyo, TeamNL achieved the best results at Olympic Games ever.
With this Fellowship the VUB not only lauds the contribution and expertise of Maurits Hendriks in the field of policy and high-performance management of top-class sport and of top-class scientific support, but also on an international level with impact on the European Olympic Committee (EOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Based on his expertise in organizing and managing a high-performance setting, he is also called upon by managers of top companies and by supervisors of the dance sector.
On receiving this title, Maurits Hendriks stated: "It is a great honor, after years of cooperation with the VUB, to be invited to make a contribution within the VUB network. For example, the VUB is an international authority on the scientific guidance of top athletes in the field of behavior with Professor Paul Wylleman and on the social value of top athletes with Professor Veerle de Bosscher. This led to a far-reaching collaboration with the VUB."
As a Fellow, he will focus on the interaction top sport, business and society: "Sport has an increasing value in society when it comes to connecting; even of groups that become isolated. Also as a motivator for young generations for an ambitious attitude. Our environment is constantly changing, even the principles and facts are under discussion. It is volatile, and sometimes uncertain. Science has the task, close to society, of increasing our understanding and underpinning our confidence."