Born to a Belgian mother and Senegalese father, Nafi is a geographical sciences graduate and the current Olympic, World and European heptathlon champion. She is one of only four heptathletes to break the magic 7,000-point barrier and was voted IAAF World female athlete of the year in 2017. At only 25 years old, her list of achievements makes her one of the world leaders in athletics.
A modern multi-eventer, Thiam currently lives, trains and studies in Liège, Belgium. She first immersed on the international scene when scoring a world indoor best in the junior pentathlon in 2013, later that year, she won gold at the European junior championships and went on to compete in her first IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Thiam displayed maturity under pressure as a junior and then continued on to take the senior stage by storm.
She wasted little time in reproducing her early successes now at senior level, becoming the youngest Olympic heptathlon gold medalist in history. She distinguished herself as a world class performer by adding the World and European gold medals to her name and has managed to break the mythical heptathlon barrier by scoring a massive 7013 points. Thiam is a geography undergraduate in Liege, a subject she enjoys because “it’s multidisciplinary like heptathlon”
For me, it is to empty the mind and remember to enjoy the experience
Unicef Goodwill Ambassador
UNICEF Belgium aims to support quality learning for every girl and boy, especially those in greatest danger of being left behind. In Belgium the organization hopes to give a voice to the most vulnerable children, such as children living in poverty and refugee children, and wants to help them have access to education.
Nafi, who has set an example of successfully combining a university degree while being an elite athlete, is particularly connected to the idea of supporting every child to have quality education. Her role and voice is important in supporting this message and to help UNICEF Belgium to defend children’s education rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.
As her long time coach, Roger has carefully honed Nafi’s talents and guided her along the path from junior prodigy to a multi-medal winning performer. Roger has received multiple awards for his long-term efforts in guiding Nafi’s career.
Ludo has been working with Nafi for many years and has become a valuable member of her team. He expertly knows how to revive Nafi’s body even after many hours of rigorous training and competition.
Wafel Sports Management
Business partners Helena Van der Plaetsen and Kim Vanderlinden founded Wafel Sports Management in 2010 and are specialised in guiding world class athletes. They offer a full service management and have been working with Nafi since 2013.
Nafi has worked with Belga images throughout her career and is proud to portray a portfolio of some of the best pictures this collab has produced. None of these pictures can be used free of rights.