Lieke Klaver is a Dutch track and field star whose popularity has exploded since competing in Tokyo 2020. Though she returned to the Netherlands without a medal, the runner won big on TikTok, starting a new trend on the platform. And though she doesn’t have a TikTok account of her own, she has reached millions of screens, and her fans’ posts garner hundreds of thousands of likes.

Lieke Klaver competed in the mixed relay and women’s relay final for the Netherlands but left empty-handed. The 22-year-old rising star returned to the Netherlands but soon realized her time in the spotlight wasn’t over. Klaver had just over 275,000 Instagram followers before Tokyo 2020 but that number rocketed to over 500,000 after the Olympic competition.

Lieke Klaver's popularity is exploding! The gorgeous Dutch runner is taking over TikTok with her impressive speed.
Lieke Klaver’s popularity is exploding! The gorgeous Dutch runner is taking over TikTok with her impressive speed. Photo Credit: Instagram

The Dutch runner can thank TikTok for her rising stardom. Her fans have created a trend on the platform, where users, often young men, post videos of Lieke Klaver running. Captioned on the videos are hilarious claims that the TikToker is going to train for the next Olympics just so they can meet Lieke Klaver. The trend has sparked dozens of videos and garnered millions of likes.

In one popular video, @sam.reacts admitted that “the Olympics have convinced me to move to the Netherlands.” The TikTok cuts from a brief clip of the TikToker to a montage of Klaver’s epic performances at Tokyo 2020. The gorgeous runner is on full display and the video received more than a quarter of a million likes – a very impressive feat.

Even more impressive is @s0nico’s video, which showed the TikTok ecstatic as they watched the “women’s 400 in the Olympics.” The TikTok quickly cuts to various clips of Lieke Klaver as she runs in the mixed relay with the TikTok sound “Give It To Me – Demi” in the background. The TikToker captioned the post “I’m officially trying for 2024,” referring to their dedication to meet Klaver at the next Olympic games.

Klaver does not have a TikTok account. Yet she is extremely popular on the social media platform. The popularity has spread into other avenues of Klaver’s life, too, improving her social media presence on Instagram. The Dutch runner has more than 500,000 followers now and can take the title “Instagram Influencer” quite literally. She has influenced half a million people with her impressive athletic performance in Tokyo 2020 and countless more on TikTok.

Lieke Klaver's Instagram following has doubled since she took the Olympic stage.
Lieke Klaver’s Instagram following has doubled since she took the Olympic stage. Photo Credit: Instagram

Who is Lieke Klaver and Why is She Creating So Much Buzz?

Lieke Klaver is a student at HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. According to her Olympic biography, the runner spends her free time with her family and friends. Klaver is, however, “married to the game,” as indicated in her Instagram bio. The Adidas athlete started running at 9 years old when her mother insisted she give the sport a try.

Last year, Klaver explained that when she started running she “had no interest in athletics.” She explained: “My mother insisted I give it a try. I really wanted to dance but my mother thought, ‘You are always running with your brother so you two can take up athletics?’ At first, I was focused on the 100m and 200m events, but due to my height my coach said to try the 400m.”

She is now a full-time runner training nine times a week. She does get a single rest day on Sunday. Her regimen includes intense strength training sessions. She focuses on running, sprinting, stamina exercises, and recovery. Though she didn’t make it to the podium in Tokyo 2020, Klaver plans to be back better than ever at the next Olympic Games.