Esther Vergeer and Pieter van den Hoogenband return as Chefs de Mission ©Getty Images

Three-time Olympic swimming champion Pieter van den Hoogenband has been named the Chef de Mission for The Netherlands for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Netherlands Olympic Committee*Netherlands Sports Federation (NOC*NSF) appointed him to the position for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, making this his second Games leading the team.

Seven-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion Esther Vergeer is to be Chef de Mission for a fourth Paralympics too.

"It is wonderful to be able to play this role in Paris, as well," said van den Hoogenband. 

"I see it mainly as a grateful task towards the athletes, about whom it is all about.

"Together with colleagues from NOC*NSF, I want to create the best possible conditions for them to make Paris 2024 a career highlight."

Pieter van den Hoogenband is a three-time Olympic champion ©Getty Images
Pieter van den Hoogenband is a three-time Olympic champion ©Getty Images

Van den Hoogenband won the men's 100 metres freestyle at back-to-back Olympics at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, as well as the men's 200m freestyle in Australia.

In total he won seven Olympic medals at two Games, and also competed at the Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008 editions, retiring after the latter.

At the Athens 2004 Olympics in the men's 200m freestyle, he claimed silver in what was dubbed "The Race of the Century", finishing between great rival, Ian Thorpe from Australia, and American prodigy and future swimming great Michael Phelps.

Under van den Hoogenband's watch, The Netherlands had its highest finish on the Olympic medal table at Tokyo 2020 placing in seventh overall.