The Olympics will welcome the triathlon world to the main stage starting this Thursday. So as all of the triathletes make their way to Rio, we had a chance to talk with some of Canada’s team members ahead of all the action that is about to take place.
What have you been up to since you arrived on Sunday?
“Just been going through the whole experience of getting ready. Sort out your gear, find the dining hall and then get some training in. We are lucky that we have this Canada house, really close to where we are staying by our hotel, so we can swim at the pool when we are training, so we don’t have to do a really long transit. So just getting the feel for ourselves and getting used to the heat and just be at the Olympics.”
Does being around other athletes inspire you for your race on Thursday?
“I think it makes it feel like the Olympics, because we are not staying at the village, so we are kind of in our own little bubble, so by seeing things such as other major athletes around us, it feels like okay these guys are doing the same things as me. They are coming here for a run, so it just is exciting.”
How has your training been going?
“It has been going really well. I have been back home in Guelph, Canada, we have a national center there, so my coach Craig Taylor and the rest of our group, we have been working really hard. It is really hot there, much hotter than Rio and we have hills. We trained there last year in the build up to the test event and it went really well. So I am hoping that a year later I am a lot fitter and there is a smaller field, so really anything can happen.”
How have you been preparing for the steep and technical hill on the Rio course?
“We have a hill that is about 75 minutes away on the bike, so we ride down and pretty much every Friday for the last eight weeks I have been doing increasing numbers of reps.”
What have you been doing since you arrived?
“I got in last night, so I think I have been here for about twelve hours. But it has been great, it is great! This Canada House is really cool and we got our kit, so everything is really exciting. The Olympics are nice because everyone does everything for you, so you don’t really have to do anything except for eat and train.”
You are part of the Wollongong Wizards training group, tell us about being a part of that:
“Three of the five Canadians are with Jamie Turner, so we have been in Spain for the past few months and was in Australia before that. I have been with the Wizards for almost three years now, so I think we have a pretty special training group. It is good because you always know what the standard is, especially since I train with Gwen Jorgensen. But there were five girls who were specifically training for the Olympics, so that helps a lot, especially with the bike sessions.”
Did you do a lot of hill prep in Spain?
“Yeah, we did quite a bit of hill prep. There is a lot of longer climbs than we usually do, so we had to look around and find some shorter and steeper stuff. But our coach found a way.”
How has your prep been going on for Rio?
“It has been going pretty good. We have been based in Spain since WTS Yokohama and have been doing a lot of hills on the bike, a lot of steep hills and then just a lot of training for the last three months, just focusing on Rio, so it has been good!”
Talk about your qualification process and how you made it to Rio
“It was a little rough for me. Last year I got hurt in the middle of the year, so I had to focus on the early races this year. The first two WTS races, Abu Dhabi and Gold Coast were really bad for me, in Abu Dhabi I was unlucky and then in Gold Coast I got a heat stroke, so my main focus came down to Yokohama. I knew that if I competed well I could get my top eight. So I went into Yokohama, raced well and got my top eight, so I qualified with that race.”
With that strong result in Yokohama, how does that help with your confidence going into Rio?
“It helps a lot because I know that I can perform on the day. I just need to get there, relax and feel confident about my abilities and just go and have a good race.”
How have you been preparing for the open water beach swim?
“For me it is good because we train in Australia for a couple months at the beginning of the year and there is always big waves for the water sessions and it is always choppy, so I actually love it.”