Melanie Driessen

I started in 2014 and since then I’m a calisthenics athlete. At that time I just stopped doing gymnastics for about 2 years. After that I started fitness, but I didn’t like it very much. One day I got to know about calisthenics and I absolutely loved it! I entered the World Championship 4 times now and in 2016 I won for the first time. A year after that I got injured and I couldn’t train for 5 months. In 2018 I wanted to make a comeback, so I placed for the World Championship lastminute. Unfortunately I made 2 huge mistakes and didn’t even place for the finals. In 2019 I really wanted to do everything right! I cancelled all my trips, trained a lot, watched my diet and it worked out great; I got first place!

What makes calisthenics such a great sport

The beauty of it is the fact that you get to be so creative. It can really be your outlet. You can also make up your own moves and add them. I think it’s funny to see that a lot of people come together these days. That’s how we can learn from each other.

How accessible is calisthenics

It’s really for anyone. Young people, older people, male, female, anyone. Ofcourse it depends on your level. If you want to become a top athlete, it’s best if you already have a good background or be blessed with a lot of talent.

Anyone can start with the basics, like the push up and the pull up. The problem is that a lot of people see the hard exercises and think ‘I could never do that!’ But they don’t know there’s a certain way to build towards it in a way that anyone can do it.

Calisthenics talent in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands we are doing quite well. Just look at the World Championships, most of the time we make it to the top. Especially the women, they regularly make it in the top 5. Ofcourse that’s great, seeing a small country like the Netherlands doing so well! The guys are struggling a bit more, they also have a lot more competition. Still, they make the finals most of the time, so it’s going the right way.

The women who do make it to the top really work their asses off. If you train like once a week, you won’t make it to the top. Also women have to work a little bit harder than the men, but that can not be an excuse.

I don’t think there’s enough possibilities to develop talent for the youth. For instance I haven’t seen anything where kids can get trained and there are also no competitions for children. I think there have to get better facilities, that’s something we really miss here in Amsterdam. Also we need to create more competitions with eachother to get the level up.

Calisthenics as an olympic sport

At this moment I think it’s not there yet. In general the level has to get higher. Especially if you compare it to gymnastics. We can grow a bit more in the sport. In about 5 year I think we’re at a completely different level and who knows by that time it could be an Olympic Sport.





1st European Champion Prague, Czechia2015
1st Queen of the Bar Cologne, Germany2015
1st National ChampionshipAmsterdam, Netherlands2015
1st National Championship Heesch, Netherlands2016
1st SWBT Paris, France2016
1st Battle of the Bars 1 vs 1 Winner London, United Kingdom2016
1st Scandinavian SW openStockholm, Sweden2016
1st World Championship Moscow, Russia2016
1st National Championship Heesch, Netherlands2018
1st NLCB National Championship Amsterdam, Netherlands2019
1st World ChampionshipMoscow, Russia2019
European ChampionshipPrague, Czechia2015
Queen of the BarCologne, Germany2015
National ChampionshipAmsterdam, Netherlands2015
National ChampionshipHeesch, Netherlands2016
SWBTParis, France2016
Battle of the Bars 1 vs 1London, United Kingdom2016
Scandinavian SW OpenStockholm, Sweden2016
World ChampionshipMoscow, Russia2016
National ChampionshipHeesch, Netherlands2018
NLCB National ChampionshipAmsterdam, Netherlands2019
World ChampionshipMoscow, Russia2019

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