Humans of beach handball: Line Gyldenløve Kristensen
For Line Gyldenløve Kristensen, handball is more than a sport. With blood, sweat and tears, the 36-year-old Dane has shown off herself on the biggest beach handball stages, where she has helped win some of the most prestigious titles with the Danish national team. Also, beach handball has given her important lessons for life.
Back in the day
We have to go back 15 years to see where it all started for Gyldenløve Kristensen.
In 2008, she was introduced to beach handball when she moved to Bjerringbro FH to play indoor handball.
And it wasn't long before her first encounter with beach handball was replaced by a first championship in the same discipline – in the national team jersey, too.
"I took part for the first time at the Beach Handball EURO in Larvik back in 2009. It was the first time Denmark had to construct a national team in beach handball. So, it started with me being selected for a national team meeting together with many others in Denmark who had played a bit of beach handball. Otherwise, we would have to try to learn how to do pirouettes, parades etc.".
The final round in Larvik was the start of a great and successful career, which turned out to be gold medals, togetherness and good memories in big amounts.
The priceless memories
Throughout her career, Gyldenløve Kristensen has been privileged to play for a national team that has targeted medals time after time in recent years. However, it also makes it difficult for her to answer what the greatest memory has been. But after some time to think, the choice was clear for the Danish player.
“I have so many memories with beach handball. But if I have to choose one, it has to be when we won gold for the first time at a championship, namely European Championship gold in 2019. We had been so close to gold many times and won many silver medals, so it was a huge redemption that we finally succeeded”.
In 2019, it was world championship gold for Gyldeløve Kristensen and co. Among the great achievements, the beach handball star also mentions gold at both the ebt finals in 2022 and at the European Games 2023.
At Beach Handball EURO 2023 in May, she surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her nation, but in the true, understated style of a team player, she wanted only to talk about helping her team win matches, not about her individual achievements.
The life beside beach handball
As a beach handball player, there is always a life off the court, that fills everyday life. For Gyldenløve Kristensen, it is the job as sales coordinator at the DermaPharm company that takes up many of her waking hours. However, there is also time to play indoor handball at a high level. Together with her teammates, the full-back has moved up to the top Danish league with Bjerringbro FH.
"Beach handball in Denmark is very seasonal, so it takes up a lot of time in the period from May to July. Whereas in the other months you play indoor handball and of course a lot of strength training,” she mentions due to scheduling her life.
“I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, because it gives me air in a very busy everyday life”.
Although it is nice for the handball player to have air and time with those she is close to, there is one other thing she really just loves.
"Training is a big part of me. And actually, I like all kinds of exercise. If I had more hours in the day, I would like to challenge myself in all kinds of different sports and training. Most of all because I think it's fun”.
In a career with a civilian job, an indoor handball career and a beach handball season in the summer, there is no doubt though; beach handball has been very important.
"It has really, really filled me and made me the person I am today. Among other things, I have learned that you have to fight hard to achieve the goals you set in life.”