What It Means to Compete for Team USA

By Cassandra Johnson | June 29, 2017, 11:25 a.m. (ET)

Seven elite triathletes share what it means to them to wear the red, white and blue and represent the United States at events across the world.

Renée Tomlin

renee tomlin

Performing in the red, white and blue is always an honor. I take great pride in representing my country and my community back home, which have given me countless opportunities to pursue my dreams.

Ben Kanute

ben kanute

Competing for Team USA is a huge honor for me. It is an opportunity to represent my country and wear the red, white and blue with pride. Those colors mean a lot to so many people, and I try to honor that to the best of my ability. I love my country and the people in it, and racing for those things has always been something I enjoy and take seriously. 

Lindsey Jerdonek

lindsey jerdonek

I'm grateful to represent Team USA and immerse myself in other cultures because of triathlon. I've watched surfing competitions in Australia, gone to a braai in South Africa, celebrated National Day of Sweden with Swedes and have run with Kenyans (or behind them) in Iten. These rich life experiences are thanks to being a triathlete for Team USA.

Matt McElroy

matt mcelroy

I am proud to represent Team USA because I always grew up watching the Olympics. I continue to strive for excellence on a daily basis in order to qualify for Tokyo 2020. During the process, hopefully I can be an inspiration to the next generation of triathletes. 

Katie Zaferes

katie zaferes

I am honored to be able to compete for Team USA. I love the feeling of community that I get when competing for the USA. The opportunity to meet so many fellow Americans and be able to connect with others in various ways. Being able to represent the USA all across the world is something that I take very seriously. I am honored to be an American; and that pride fills me every time I put on my red, white and blue race suit or get to hear our national anthem play on the podium. 

Kevin McDowell

kevin mcdowell

I will never forget the first time I got to wear the USA suit at my first Junior Worlds back in 2008. It was a sense of pride that you can't explain until you get to race with USA on your chest. You have this extra drive to go out there and make your country proud. Today that feeling is still the same and will never change. The only thing that has is I now get the honor of wearing the stars and stripes along with the USA on my suit!

Kirsten Kasper

kirsten kasper

To be able to wear the stars and stripes each time I toe the line is an honor and something I take pride in very much. Each race I approach I try to represent Team USA to the best of my ability. USA Triathlon has provided us with a unique opportunity to represent our country and do it with the support and resources necessary to be competitive at the highest level. It is a privilege to wear the U.S. colors and is something I am grateful for each time I compete.