Men’s Triathlon Team: Pre-Race Quotes
The three men on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team arrived in Rio on Aug. 13 and spoke at the Rio 2016 Main Press Center on Aug. 15. Quotes and audio included below.
You’ve raced on this course before, last summer. What makes it challenging for you personally, and how does it play to your strengths?
Any course, when you go to the Olympics, it’s going to end up being an extremely hard, extremely challenging race. The fact that there is an incredible climb that we do eight times and a really steep, technical descent, really choppy water, and a hot, hard run just adds to that excitement. For me, it’s a swim, bike, run. It’s what I do every day, so I’m just excited to get out there and see what is the best I can do. I’ve been training for this — I mean, I started triathlon 10 years ago, and this is the pinnacle of that, so I’m excited to go out and race a bunch of people.
How this course plays to my weaknesses, that’s up for my competitors to figure out, so I won’t answer that one. In terms of my strengths, to tell you the truth, I just really like Rio. I enjoy it here. I enjoy the vibes, I enjoy the atmosphere, the people, the culture, and I plan on soaking all that in and feeding off a little bit of that Olympic energy.
It’s an Olympic Games, so no matter what course you’re on it’s going to be very challenging, very fast the entire time. This course is pretty unique with a one-loop ocean swim, a steep, hilly bike, and it’s a hot, fast run at the end. I’m just excited to go out there and see what I can do.
What has been the best part of qualifying for the Olympic team?
The best part of qualifying is simply the opportunity to represent my country. I started dreaming about the Olympics when I was 8 years old and won the 50 fly county championships. I was like, ‘dude, I’m basically going to be Olympian now, I think that’s how that works.’ Since then there have been a lot of challenges, but I think this event is what makes us strive every day to find out what the best is that we can be. Now that we’re finally here and we actually have that opportunity to show what we spent decades perfecting, that’s more than most people can hope for. I’m just really lucky and really glad that I get to be here and do that in Rio.
The best part of qualifying for me was finishing it, and being qualified. That whole process, it was pretty long for us. Once it was finished and we knew we’d have the opportunity to come here and race the world at the Olympic Games, I think for me, I’m just excited and happy. I think it’s going to be fun.
I think the best moment for me is just each new opportunity that I get. It started all the way back when we first made the team back in May. Since then we’ve gotten to do a whole bunch of things that we hadn’t done before — go through processing, come and represent the U.S. on the biggest stage in triathlon and in sports. And I think there are going to be many more opportunities that come along in the next week or so, ending with that race on Thursday. I’m excited to do that and keep making the most of these moments.
Click here for full audio from the men’s pre-race press conference.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).