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6 Triathlon Legends & World Champions – Where Are They Now?

6 Triathlon Legends & World Champions – Where Are They Now?


(mechanical sounds) – Almost all professional athletes, golfers and tennis players
perhaps not included, tend to have a finite period when they can maximise their potential at the top of their sport. And triathlon, as an endurance
sport by its very nature, is perhaps one of those ones where you can maximise more time than you might think. I think of it as like layers to an onion, you can keep adding those endurance and experience levels as the years go by. – Nice analogy, but
that inevitable closure to their career will
eventually come rolling around. So then, what does the
professional athlete, that has spent their whole life racing, What do they do now? What do they do with their life? What career do they take? Well, we are gonna be
exploring that today, we’re gonna be looking
at the different paths that triathletes have
taken once their days as a professional
triathlete come to an end. (whimsical music) – Bevan Docherty captured
almost all the honours that a triathlete could dream of. Not only did he become World Champion at the Madeira ITU Championships in 2004 after an epic sprint
battle with Sven Riederer. He’s also a dual Olympic
medal winner with silver at the Athens Olympics
and then bronze again in Beijing four years later. He also had a number of
incredible second places with second at 2006
Melbourne Commonwealth Games and again at the ITU World Champs in Vancouver four years later. – Yeah, absolutely incredible I think. I used to love watching him, it was just so exciting every race it seemed to be. And he really just knew how to arrive on the day and perform well. And he actually also then went to step up to Ironman Distance and was
really, quite successful at it, although, you might argue, didn’t reach the same heights that he did
in his short course ITU days. And he did actually comment, “There is no doubt I have
more victories in me, “however over the last few years “it’s been increasingly more difficult “to reach that form and
even harder to hold it… “back in the day I could
peak for months on end “but nowadays I’m lucky
to get a few weeks.” – Yeah, and interestingly,
in terms of what he went on to do after his career finished, he had already obtained
his private pilot’s licence by the time he’d finished his career, and then was aspiring to go on to get his commercial licence, thereafter. So, quite the change
from swim, bike and run. – Well, this next athlete
was one of my idols when I actually very
first started triathlon. It is Brad Kahlefeldt. And he is actually one of
Australia’s most successful male ITU short course athletes. And not only did he win the
Commonwealth Games on home turf in the Melbourne 2006
games, he also won multiple ITU World Championship
medals, and also went to two Olympic Games for Australia. – Yeah, and it didn’t stop there
because he moved seamlessly into a long course career. He won 70.3’s all over the
world in different climates and conditions, and even
raced at Ironman Hawaii too. But after 20 years of racing
at the very highest level in 2018 he hung up the race suit. – And whilst he may be
retired, he has said that he’s gonna continue
running as he tries to, basically, race and do
elite marathon running. But whilst he has stepped away
from professional triathlon, he has maybe taken a
slightly different path from what we might expect,
because Brad is currently in the process of studying
for, and completing, all the necessary procedures
for him to start owning and managing a McDonald’s franchise. (Hawaiian music) – Our next athlete is Chrissie Wellington, who burst unannounced onto
the scene, effectively, in 2007 by virtue of
winning her first attempt at the Ironman World title in Hawaii, which she’d only qualified
for a few weeks previously at Ironman Korea. Now fast forward five
jam-packed seasons later and Chrissie was retiring, unbeaten, from Ironman distance racing, after winning her fourth
global title in 2011. She returned home to the
U.K. after having been living in the U.S. in 2012, where she embarked on a new relationship with
the Parkrun organisation, who organise free weekly,
timed 5k running events and are free and open to everyone. – She actually first encountered
Parkrun and their events when she was actually out
for a Saturday jog in London and she went through Richmond Park and just stumbled across
hundreds of people lining up to take part in one of their events. And she decided she’d
gate crash it that day but she did of course return
and officially take part. But then in February 2013
she actually joined forces with Parkrun and essentially
joined to bang the drum for participation within the organisation. And also has helped other
events with healthy lifestyle, and also just getting people active. Well our next athlete is
Greg Welch, and he’s not only in the Ironman Hall of Fame, he’s also in Triathlon Australia’s
and the ITU’s Hall of Fame. And he is one of the
great icons of the sport. – Yeah, now although he’d actually won the ITU short course world title in 1990, he became the first known American male to win on the Big Island in 1994 when he famously beat Dave
Scott who was racing back on the island for the first
time since he’d had the incredible Iron War
of 1989 with Mark Allen. And Greg Welch has gone on to state that, “This was the biggest
highlight of my life. “I still see Hawaii as being the highlight “of our sport and the premier race “outside of the Olympic Games.” “Those are the two races
that you want to win.” – Yeah, and although now,
you will actually see him doing a lot of the commentary on the Ironman live feed online
for the major Ironman races. He actually, also, holds
quite a senior role at Oakley where he helps and deals with a lot of the world’s top athletes
in, not only triathlon, but also summer and winter sports. Well now we have an exceptional
athlete, Shelia Taormina, and so exceptional, in
fact, that we’re not going to necessarily be discussing
her retirement from triathlon, but rather, her retirement
after three sports, and at quite a high level as well. – She started off her career as a swimmer and was a member of the
4×200 freestyle relay quartet and won gold medal at the
Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. She then turned her hand to
Olympic distance triathlon and by the inaugural Games at Sydney she had come a very
impressive sixth place. She then managed to win
the ITU World Championships in Madeira in the next
Olympic year of 2004, where she then went on to
compete at that Athens Games and become a triple
Olympian at that point. – Yeah, and this is where the story gets even more interesting
because as if that wasn’t enough, being content with going
to two Olympic Games swimming and triathlons, she then decided, “Why not give it another go, go to another “Olympic Games,” but now
in Modern Pentathlon. So now, she had to add shooting, fencing, and horse riding into the mix. – Yeah, so at the grand old
age of 37 she became the first, and still only, woman to compete in three different sports across three different Olympic Games, but actually four
different Games in total, ’cause there was two as triathlon. And, if you ask me, that is just one heck of a way to retire from sport. Conrad Stoltz is, arguably,
the most notable triathlete to come out of South Africa. After a career of 24 long years as a professional triathlete, across-road and off-road triathlon, but he’s probably most well known for his seven off-road world titles at Xterra and Cross Triathlon. – I was very fortunate to
actually race him a couple times and I do remember at
ITU World Cross Champs he came past me like a
steam train on the bike. He was absolutely incredible. In addition to all that, he’s
been to two Olympic Games and he’s won over 50
Xterra World Tour events, which is incredible. But since his retirement
from the sport, Conrad, or also known as the Cave
Man, has really got stuck into his side, throwing
his passion and energy into the fast-growing
industry of trail building in and around his hometown of
Stellenbosch in South Africa. – Now, this is just a selection
of some of the athletes who’ve gone on to do some
rather, well shall we say, interesting things with their lives after their careers have finished, and we really hope you’ve
enjoyed hearing them. – Yeah, of course there are probably plenty more interesting stories
out there post-racing life, so if you do know of
any, please do drop them in the comments section below. If you liked this video,
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head on over to the GTN shop and get some of our GTN goodies, hoodies, cycling gear and whatnot. And if you would like to see our interview with some professional athletes
and seeing what they eat, then just click down here. – And for an interview that was done with Chrissie Wellington,
you can see that here.

12 comments on “6 Triathlon Legends & World Champions – Where Are They Now?

  1. So this video makes me feel OLD… lol. I think of LEGENDS of our sport to be the likes of Mark Allen, Dave Scott, Jurgen Zack, Paula Newby Frasier, Erin Baker, Michellie Jones. These were the best of the best when I was racing back in the day. I'm the head running coach of the Silicon Valley Triathlon Club, and I don't think any of the members even know these pioneers of our sport. I think it's important to remember these amazing triathletes, and I'd be curious to know what they're doing now….

  2. Kate McIlroy has an amazing story. Add her for your next feature. The woman had done it all. 3 sport commonwealth games, Olympic Games and a solid post triathlon career as well

  3. Saw Conrad Stoltz at his last race, Xterra UK, the European champs

    My daughter won the sprint race at 15, her first ever Xterra and longest ever distance

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