Karin Kuipers (NED)
Honor Water Polo (2014)
FOR THE RECORD: 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver; 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver; 1991 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver; 1993 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 1995 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1995 FINA World Cup: silver, 1997 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1999 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS: silver; 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999 WORLD CUP: gold; 1996 OLYMPIC TOURNAMENT; 1993, 1998,1999 VOTED BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD
She was appointed Knight of the Order of Orang-Nassau in 2011, a chivalric order open to everyone who has earned special merits for society because of her great services to Dutch Water Polo. It is a grade comparable with the ranks of the Order of the British Empire in the UK.
Wearing her famous number 7, she started playing in the first division at the age of 14. She was three times voted the best player in the world; in 1993, 1998 ,1999, and played in over 1000 official games, scoring over 3000 goals during her career.
Her greatest years came before women’s water polo was added to the Olympic program, when her Dutch team was the best in the world and won either the gold or silver medal at every FINA world cup and FINA world championships from 1991 to 1999. Her team entered the 2000 Olympic Games as one of the favorites, but finished a disappointing fourth.
Now a mother of two, she competes in triathlons and competes with her old water polo friends in Dutch masters competitions.