Category Archives: Triathlete Profiles

Triathlete Profile: Gwen Jorgensen

The triathlete Gwen JorgensenGwen Jorgensen is a female professional Triathlete and represents team United States. She was born on the 25 April 1986 making her only 26 years of age and is a bright prospect for Team USA in the world of Triathlon. At first she wasn’t interested in the Triathlon sport as when she was going through her years as a student, Triathlon wasn’t even an Olympic sport and many young athletes’ dreams are to participate at the Olympics so Triathlon was out of the question for Gwen Jorgensen.

Strong Background in Swimming

Whilst at college, Gwen Jorgensen was a keen swimmer and runner and often competed at state level. As swimming and running were 2 of the 3 events that took centre stage in the Triathlon, the physical pain and endurance was something that didn’t inspire Gwen Jorgensen to compete. She simply stated, “No, that doesn’t interest me.”

First Triathlon Competition

It wasn’t until she was 24 years old that she finally decided to turn to Triathlon and then her career went on to the fast track. The 26 year old will now take part in her first ever Olympics this August when the Olympic Games are held in London 2012 and Jorgensen’s love for Triathlon has gone from a low to an all time high.

Although she was a very strong runner and swimmer, she never could manage to progress onto the national reckoning but her strengths in the two different events was an opportunity that former Olympian Barb Lindquist was reluctant to let drift by.

Recruitment to the USA Team

USA Team member Gwen JorgensenBarb Lindquist runs an USA Triathlon’s college recruitment program but around the time that Gwen Jorgensen was spotted, not many young athletes were competing at a sufficient enough level to warrant progression into Lindquist’s program. Lindquest herself states that Gwen Jorgensen’s ability in two different sports was unique.

Gwen Jorgensen was sticking to her principles and swaying towards rejected Lindquist’s proposal but her concerns over Triathlon were more based on the ‘Ironman’ events which were much tougher courses than the Olympic Triathlons that are much shorter in legs.

Jorgensen was also less fond of the bike which is the middle part of the race but after being informed that the rules are slightly less strict in the cycling event that allows them to draft which makes it less strenuous on the Triathletes.

Preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games

Eventually Gwen Jorgensen was persuaded to pursue a career in Triathlon and she has had a couple of successful years since making her debut in March 2010. She finished 8th in her first competitive Triathlon event which encouraged her to participate in more events. Her performance at the 2011 WCS London event earned her one of the three spots on the US Olympic team for the 2012 London Olympic Games as she finished 2nd to Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins. It was a magnificent effort by Jorgensen who had only been racing for 17 months before the 2011 London event.

Now with qualification under her belt, she can now prepare and look forward to her first ever Olympics and say that Triathlon is the sport she so happily competes in!

Triathlete Profile: Alistair Brownlee

Alistair BrownleeAlistair Brownlee is currently the number one triathlete in Great Britain and is also ranked number four in the world in the Men’s Triathlon Rankings. Brownlee was born on the 23 April 1988 making him 24 years old and the triathlete has had a very successful career in Triathlon in such a short space of time.

Yorkshire Champion

He has been raised up in Yorkshire for his entire life and can proudly say he is the reigning ETU European Triathlon champion. Not just the reigning champion either, Brownlee has also won back-to-back ETU European Triathlon titles. Not only is he the reigning champion of the ETU European circuit, but he is also the current ITU Triathlon World Champion, emphasising his superiority in the world of Triathlon today. He also won the ITU Triathlon Championships in 2009.

Sibling Rivalry

His victory at the ITU Triathlon World Championships in 2011 was especially memorable for Alistair as he just edged his brother in the event with Jonathan Brownlee coming in second position. The event that took place in Beijing, China last year were a tremendous accomplishment by both Alistair and his brother, Jonathan, and Alistair will be hoping to collect a hat-trick of ITU World titles when he is set to regain his title at Auckland, New Zealand in October this year when the ITU World Championships are being held for 2012.

Success in the Family

Alistair took up the sport at a very young age with his uncle, Simon Hearnshaw who himself was a triathlete and competed regularly. When Alistair originally started his career as a youngster, he was a successful cross country runner and was often crowned Yorkshire County champion in Cross Country. It wasn’t until 2006 when Alistair decided to concentrate primarily on Triathlon and try to achieve a career on this path rather that just running. He became a member at the Carnegie High Performance Centre which is based at Leeds Metropolitan University and has been a member there ever since.

Dual Coaches

Alistair has two coaches on his team because of the different events associated with Triathlon, his swimming coach is Jack Maitland and the Director of Sport at Carnegie High Performance centre, Malcolm Brown is his coach for running and cycling.

His successful career to date has lead to him obtaining many athlete sponsors with BT, Adidas, Gatorade and BMW all sponsoring the British athlete.

His opening success came at the ITU Triathlon World Championships at junior level of 2006. Held in Lausanne, Switzerland on the opening weekend of September, Alistair Brownlee topped off a good weekend for Britain as Tim Don had earlier won the Men’s Championship and Brownlee’s gold position at the juniors were the start of his success.

Junior Medals

Little did Alistair know that this was going to be the start of a brilliant career for the talented teenager. Aged just 18 when he won the ITU Triathlon World Championships at junior level in 2006, in the same year he also managed to achieve a Bronze medal position at the 2006 ETU Triathlon European Championships in Autun, France. It was again at junior level and many people now expected Alistair Brownlee to progress onto the men’s circuit within a few years.

Gold Medals

Another gold medal at the 2007 Copenhagen ETU Triathlon European Championships continued to prove Alistair on a junior level. 2008 marked an extremely good year for him and his progression in Triathlon. In June 2008, he won gold medal in the Men’s Under 23 event in the ITU Triathlon World Championships that were held in Vancouver, Canada and his performance at the event saw him rewarded with a call up for the Great Britain team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China later that year.

Beijing Olympic Games

Alistair Brownlee Hyde Park TriathlonThe 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were an extremely exciting opportunity for Alistair as his country had no expectations for him to finish on the podium in his début Olympic event. He still managed to impress and finished in 12th place, ahead of fellow British team member, Tim Don who was expected to finish above Alistair. Alistair boasted very strong times in the swimming and cycling but ironically his running was slightly off the pace which saw him gradually move away from the leading pack.

However, Alistair was to return to Beijing, China in 2011 to compete at the ITU Triathlon World Championships and by this period he was a strong competitor on the Elite level. Due to his performances in all the events leading up the grand final, Alistair Brownlee dominated the 2011 Beijing event as he won 3 out of the 6 events prior to Beijing. His wins at the Madrid, Kitzbuhel and London games all contributed to his final ranking position of 1st that makes him the current ITU World Champion in Triathlon.

His previous ITU World Championship title was even more dominant than his latest victory. Alistair won all five of the season’s event in which he competed in. Madrid, Washington D.C, Kitzbuhel and London all saw Alistair victorious before he won the Grand Final in Australia in 2009 to take the ITU Triathlon World Championship crown. His title made him the first person to win the ITU Triathlon Championships at all 3 levels, juniors, under 23’s and senior.

Side-lined with Injuries

A recent Achilles tear suffered in February 2012 put serious doubts into his preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It was a bitter blow for Alistair who would’ve hoped to compete in the events leading up the Olympic Games to give him much needed time in the competitive events but unfortunately Alistair has had to watch from the sidelines.

Fingers Crossed for London 2012

The final WTS Triathlon event is in Madrid, Spain later this year and will be the last opportunity for Alistair Brownlee to compete against other elite Triathletes before the London Games in August. Alistair Brownlee would’ve been a certain favourite to win his first Olympic medal in his home country but his recent injury could potentially jeopardize any plans he has to finish on the podium. Whether he makes it in time to compete for the London 2012 Olympic Games, at 24 years old he still has many years involved in Triathlon.

To visit Alistair Brownlee’s home page click here.