Junior Reporters Talk to 2016 Olympians and Paralympians

By USA Triathlon | Oct. 20, 2016, 12:22 p.m. (ET)

kids eye view

Get to know some of Team USA’s top triathletes from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as they chat with youth and junior triathletes.

Q&A with Olympian Gwen Jorgensen

Interview by Ashley Tan, 14, Urbandale, Iowa

Q&A with Olympian Ben Kanute

Interview by Mattan Formoza, 11, Rockville, Maryland


Q&A with Paralympian Chris Hammer

Interview by Easha Nandyala, 15, Princeton, New Jersey

Q&A with Paralympian Grace Norman

Interview by Ben Blaumeiser, 13, Kettering, Ohio

Get to Know Our Junior Reporters

USA Triathlon: What do you like best about the Olympic and Paralympic Games?
Ashley Tan: One of my favorite parts of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is listening to the athletes' backstories. These people are extraordinary athletes, but they're also still people. Most of them come from humble backgrounds; they didn't wake up one day and suddenly become world-class athletes. They had a dream, and they made the decision that they would achieve that dream, even if it meant waking up before the sun rose to swim, or staying at the training center till the late hours of the night to get in a hard cycling session (things that every triathlete has experienced, I'm sure.) They've all felt the triumph of a fantastic race, and the heartbreak of a bad one. But they endured, because they loved what they were doing, and look where they are now. With the help of their own inner abilities and also the support of their coaches, family and teammates, they're world-class athletes.

USA Triathlon: What did you like best about interviewing an Olympian?
Mattan Formoza: It was interesting to learn about a famous person, and it was an awesome opportunity to interview a triathlete. It is definitely something I would like to do again. I learned so much about Ben Kanute and that even though he's a professional athlete he is just like everyone else. He likes to have fun and he is always looking for a way to improve his skills. He was very nice and easy to talk to and he gave me some great advice!

USA Triathlon: What do you like the most about Olympic and Paralympic triathlon?
Easha Nandyala: My favorite aspects of the Olympic and Paralympic triathlons are the levels of focus and stamina involved in the sport. The triathlete has trained in blood, sweat and tears for the race. They endure the most challenging courses, which I admire. More than that, unlike a 50-meter dash, the ranking of triathletes in a race can change in a matters of seconds. If somebody is not as skilled of a swimmer and they are in the back, their rad biking skills could pull them in front of the pack. It gives hope that no matter where you are in life, you can work your hardest toward your strengths and be a winner. Because the event involves three sports, I am constantly on edge to who will triumph and ultimately win gold. In the end, anybody can win no matter their initial position.

USA Triathlon: What was it like to meet Paralympian Grace Norman?
Ben Blaumeiser: Meeting Grace Norman was an amazing opportunity. I had a blast. Grace was so kind and understanding of how much meeting her meant to me. She understands how big of a deal it is of what she’s accomplished with winning gold but still is so humble. Her success doesn’t seem to have changed her. Even though I didn’t know her beforehand, she comes across like she probably always has been nice and giving. She represents everything that I would hope every Team USA athlete would be like: giving of her time, respectful of her fans and country and has high goals for her future. She is a champion for sure!

Visit usatriathlon.org/kidzone for more content for and from youth and junior triathletes.