Wherever I go I’m a foreigner, if I were asked to put a name to what I call home I’d be left in a daze, the term “third culture kid” is one that fits me to a tee. I consider myself to be someone of many homes, many cultures and many experiences; they have all shaped me to, who I am today, Rudi Merkin.

I was born in Ceret, France; a small town under the watchful gaze of the Pyrenees mountain range. I haven’t been back there, as far as my memory goes, but that is where I started. From there I was brought to the Netherlands where I got my Dutch citizenship, an identity I am very proud of and that I feel strongly connected to, despite not having been in the country for over three-quarter of my life.

After this I juggled living everywhere and nowhere in the Alps where my parents were in the hotel business and occasionally back to Holland. I eventually settled in Holland when I started school. Soon enough though I was shipped off again to the south of France, living in the suburbs of Toulouse. There my interest in sport began, playing football as a goalkeeper, although I thought I was a lot better, than I really was; I lost interest once I had a coach who preferred his own son over me. After a lengthy six year spell in France at the age of twelve, we went off to Vancouver, Canada; and gladly too, I never really settled in France. In Canada, my interest for sport was re-ignited! Not only did the great outdoors call me for long hikes, but I also started with rugby and football again. Rugby led me to the high school provincial championships although my slight build forced me to discontinue at the end of high school as my opponents became too huge. With football I kept going, along with the fact I turned out to be quite good at it, the professional environment and coaching of the Simon Smith academy inspired my ambition to work in that type of environment. This led me to where I am now, studying International Sport Management and Business in Amsterdam. This with the ambition to work in high performance sport.