By Sarah Falson
ST KILDA, Vic: Philips global ambassador, flying Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband, attended an afternoon swimming clinic at the Sea Baths in St. Kilda last week and mingled with some starstruck youngsters.
Hoogenband’s training place is also the birthplace of the Philips company, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and the swimmer reserved his only public appearance while in Australia for the electronics company.
“Pieter has made a lasting impression on Australian sports fans since competing against Ian Thorpe during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and his fiercely competitive and charming nature have made him a local favourite,” said Philips Electronics Australia senior manager, David Wolf.
“This was evident in the large turnout of customers from across Philips’ consumer, medical and lighting businesses, all eager to meet and get to know the dual Olympic gold medalist.”
On the back of the excitement about the world swimming championships in Melbourne, Hoogenband relaxed and lunched with some of his fans before heading back to the Netherlands for the birth of his first child.
“Customers and their kids had an opportunity to get up close and personal with Pieter during an intimate Q&A session, followed by a private swimming clinic,” said Wolf.