Journey Back

Elke Lale
van Achterberg

Discover my life story and all the wonderful experiences as wheelchair fencer during my road to the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo (Japan).
Watch my story

my journey

Nomination Best Social Media Awards 2020 (category sports)

I am honored to be nominated for the Best Social Media Awards 2020 (category sports) in the Netherlands. Would be great if you would vote (read more)
Read more
30 April 2020
Dit zijn wij | Elke | Dirk Kuyt Foundation
29 April 2020
My Road to Tokyo | Fiat | Frank Jol
11 April 2020
Road to Tokyo | Ik ben Elke Lale | I am Elke Lale
14 December 2019
Road to Tokyo | Wedstrijd | Competition
Road to Tokyo | Training
10 December 2019

Follow me on my YouTube channel

Follow me on my You Tube channel. I am an 18 year old girl from Amsterdam with a busy life. I am part of the Turkish Paralimpic team, I am a fashion student, I am super creative, I have a huge pasion for make- up and hair and I absolutely love my friends!!! On this channel you can see all of this! How I became World Champion in wheelchair fencing and how i combine sport and study.
Read more
30 January 2019
Amputee story part 2: How I got my life back | January 2019
27 January 2019
Amputee story 1: How I ended up being in a wheelchair | January 2018
13 January 2019
My Road to the Paralympics in Tokyo | December 2018
23 December 2018
Kyoto world cup 2018 | MY ROAD TO TOKYO
21 December 2018
Training Camp in Alanya, Turkey
25 October 2018
Training Camp with the Italian Paralympic Team | July 2019
11 September 2018
Hoe gaat het met Jongere van het Jaar Elke? | Jeugdjournaal
23 July 2018
Jongere van het Jaar 2017 | Jeugdjournaal
30 November 2017
L'Oreal Paris True Match Campaign | November 2017
19 November 2017
Model at the Amsterdam Fashion Week 2017
16 July 2017
A She Story by Bijenkorf
27 January 2017
Model at the Amsterdam Fashion Week 2016
17 January 2016


Please send me a message if you have any questions, or contact my manager;

Burak Yesilcan
0090 532 2027178


Gaby van Achterberg-Ertekin
0031 6 18545220. 
Thank you for your message. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Do you want to support me on my journey to Tokyo 2021 or Paris 2024?
To reach my goal (participating in the 2021 and 2024 Paralympics) I am always looking for people, companies and foundations who are willing to support me in any way possible. Of course you can expect something back from me. For example I can place your company logo on my website and pay attention to the sponsorship on social media. For bigger sponsorships we can talk about possibilities of having the company logo on my fencing jacket. Also there are possibilitiesto give clinics or inspirational sessions to the companies that sponsors me.

If you have any questions about the various ways you can support me please contact my manager:
Burak Yesilcan
0090 532 2027178
Gaby van Achterberg-Ertekin
0031 6 18545220  

When you want to support me as Club50 member you can donate 50 euro on my bank account:
Elke van Achterberg
NL48 ABNA 0431 4016 67
Description: Donation Club50 wheelchair fencer Elke Lale van Achterberg and your emailadres so I can sent you my newsletters.  


Competition schedule

Follow all the upcoming events in which I participate!


3-6 July 2020

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup Senior
Epee - Foil

Warsaw, Poland
19-22 November 2020

IWAS Wheelchair fencing World Cup Senior
Epee - Foil

Pisa, Italy
10-17 December 2020

IWAS World Championships U23
Epee - Foil - Sabre

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand


2020 nominee Best Social Media Award

The Best Social Media Awards are the prizes in the Netherlands for all the best social media, the best content. I am nominated in the category "Best Sports"

2020 World Ranking U23

Number 2Foil
Number 2Epee

2019 World Championships U23 (Sharjah - UAE)


2019 World Ranking U23

Number 2Epee
Number 2Foil

2019 nominee the Young 100

One of the 100 most inspirational youngsters U23 in the Netherlands

2018 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

gold foil
silver epee

2018 World Championships U23 (Warsaw - Poland)

bronze foil

2018 World Ranking U23

Number 2Epee
Number 3 Foil

2018 Tournoi de Villemomble Seniors (Paris - France)


2018 winner Golden Tulip - Altin Lale

Best Turkish athlete in the Netherlands

2018 nominee the Young 100

One of the 100 most inspirational youngsters U23 in the Netherlands

2017 World Championships U23 (Warsaw - Poland)

bronze foil

2017 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

silver epee
silver foil

2017 World Ranking U23

Number 1 Epee

2017 World Ranking U17

Number 1 Epee
Number 1 Foil

2017 World Cup U23 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

gold epee
bronze foil

2017 World Cup U17 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

gold (mixed)epee
silver foil

2017 Challenge International Handisport des Joinvillas Seniors (Antibes - France)

gold epee

2017 Youngster of the Year

Most inspirational youngster U21 in the Netherlands

2016 De Slag om Den Bosch Juniors (Netherlands)

gold epee

2016 Challenge de Joinvillais Seniors (Antibes - France)


2016 winner Scherm-Oscar

Best Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

2015 World Championships U23 (Sharjah - UAE)

bronze epee
bronze foil

2015 world Championships U17 (Sharjah - UAE)

bronze (mixed)epee
bronze (mixed)foil

2015 World Junior Games U23 (Stadskanaal - Netherlands)

silver (mixed teams)foil
bronze foil

2015 Intercity Nijmegen (Netherlands)


2014 winner Wheelchair Athlete with International Potential Award

International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation350 athletes, 31 countries, 6 sports

2015 winner Scherm-Oscar

Best Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

2014 World Championships U17 (Warsaw - Poland)

bronze epee
bronze foil

2014 Slag om Den Bosch Juniors (Netherlands)

gold epee

2014 World Junior Games (Stoke Mandeville - England)

bronze foil
bronze (mixed teams)foil

2014 International Wheelchair Fencing Tournament Gouda Seniors (Netherlands)


2014 International Wheelchair Fencing Tournament Gouda Seniors (Netherlands)

silver (mixed)foil

2014 winner Scherm-Oscar

Best Wheelchair Fencer in the Netherlands

This is my

I am Elke Lale van Achterberg. A twenty-year-old wheelchair fencer. My goal is to participate in the 2021 Paraympics in Tokyo. Do you want to know how I am getting there? Check out my journey.

My Story

October 2011. The month my life completely changed. I took a head roll on my bed and totally landed the wrong way. What started as a minor fracture in my big toe resulted in the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS type 1). Since that day I felt nerve pain in my left leg for 24 hours a day, my left foot was standing in a high peak position and I couldn’t move or put any pressure on it without experiencing heavy pain. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with CRPS and I fell into a depression.
After four years of living with intense pain I decided to have my lower leg amputated. The surgery took place on April 3rd 2015, with no guarantee it would help. But doing nothing was not an option anymore. Luckily it was the best decision in my life! The pain was gone and I could walk, cycle and skating again by wearing a special designed leg prosthesis.
Elke van Achterberg

From feeling depressed to being one of the best

After I was diagnosed with CRPS I fell into a depression. Until I discovered wheelchair fencing in November 2012! Due to this sport my energy level boosted and I allowed myself to be happy again. Together with a team of specialists I started training 6 times a week at several locations to develop my skills. With result. In 2018 I got the World Champion U17 in the weapon foil.
In 2014 I started participating in the adult category of international wheelchair fencing. My results so far are a 8th place at the European Championships in 2018 (Epee) and a 7th place at the World Cup in  2017 (Foil).

The road to the 2020 Paralympics

Because my grandfather is Turkish I was born with both Dutch and Turkish nationality. When Turkey approached me in 2016 to play for their national team I immediately said yes. I’ve always had the dream to play at the Paralympics. The Turkish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled (TBESF) and my Turkish club Nilufer Belediyespor are able to give me extra support on several levels. Which means I’m one step closer to the 2020 Paralympics and now have access to a whole team of professionals. My two coaches Mathijs Rohlfs (from Schermcentrum Amsterdam) and Roel Verwijlen (from Schermclub Den Bosch), mental coach Paul Hoogers, orthopedic instrument maker Frank Jol and personal trainer Harmen Bakker and physiotherapist Lotte Koops (both from Fysiomed Amsterdam). But it also means I have to step up my game. Therefore I’m training six days a week. Sometimes I went to Turkey to train with my Turkish coach Rumen Kamadziev and Yusuf Sahin.

Although I’m now playing for the Turkish National Team it is still my goal to put wheelchair fencing on the map in the Netherlands. I still do a lot of demonstrations at rehabilitation centers and during events. Also, I’m still a proud member of the KNAS (Royal Dutch Association for Fencers).  

Sponsors that support my dream

Back to timeline
Back to timeline