Thursday, September 17, 2009

20 Questions with . . . . Simon Whitfield

Next up on the 20 Questions . . .With, is Olympic Gold and Silver medalist Simon Whitfield. This man really needs know introduction. We used to call him the "kid" but now he really is a man and he has become the most consistent ITU triathlete on the planet over the last 10 years.

The Gold Medal win in Sydney caught everyone by surprise - even Simon himself. The Silver medal in Beijing eight years later showed, that he was the real deal with a stretch drive for the ages that came up just a bit short, but in some ways was more impressive than the win in Sydney.

I'll freely admit that, both the Olympic races were emotional affairs for me, personally. Here was a guy from my area, a friend, who had come up through the ranks and made it to the absolute top of the sport. It's the only time that I have ever openly wept watching a sports event. The next time that happens will be when the Leafs win the Stanley Cup or England wins the World Cup of Soccer. I think I may be waiting for these latter two triumphs for awhile. So thanks, Simon for winning big!

Simon has shown over the years that he is that rare athlete, who really saves the best, for the biggest races. Witness the final strides drama at the Hy-Vee race earlier this year( Picture at the top) when, Simon took it, right on the line to win the biggest prize purse in the sport.

20 Questions With . . . . Simon Whitfield

1. Your legacy will be?

SQW - Bouncy castle wrecking ball, great dad and husband.

2. If out for a ride with Lance Armstrong, you would talk about?

SQW - How he deals with being such a polarizing person. People love him or they hate him. How does he stay detached from that noise? Give me some tips......!

3. Peanut butter or Nutella?

SQW - Almond butter.

4. Your Daughter Pippa makes you?

SQW - Laugh a lot. Worry. Laugh a lot more. Be a proud parent.

5. Best thing about being a triathlete?

SQW - Training with the guys. The athletes on the ITU circuit are an amazing group of people.

6. Did you start this compression sock madness?

SQW - It works, plain and simple. Compression socks work!

7. Canada has done really well in triathlon. Why?

SQW - Coincidence.

8. Who will be the next Simon Whitfield in Canada?

SQW - No one. Some great talent coming through but they will be their own people. No need to be "the next".

9. If you could not be a triathlete, you would be?

SQW - Musician. Banjo player. Like the Great Lake Swimmers or Bon Iver.

10. For the ladies - boxers or briefs?

SQW - Boxers, always. Never briefs. Bought briefs recently. Hated them.

11. Ironman, ever?

SQW - Yes. absolutely, when I can't compete at Olympic Distance (don't read too much into that).

12. Did you practice that facial expression at the finish line at the Hy-Vee race ahead of time?

SQW - In my head, many times. The "holy-shit-that-just-happened-I-didn't-see-that-coming..... not-today-at-least.... but-I'll-take-it look".

13. Best moment ever in the sport for you was?

SQW - Winning in Sydney.

14. Is this Brownlee kid the real deal?

SQW - Absolutely.

15. Biggest changes you have seen in the sport are?

SQW - I've been a pro since 1996. So too many to list. The uniform guidelines and the ITU's push to the Olympics have taken the sport to a new level. The new Dextro series is by far the best series we've ever had, aside from the f1 series in Australia.

16. Will the ITU and the WTC ever see eye to eye?

SQW - Nope. WTC "is all about the Benjamens" (I really like the races, and the people, Welchy, Roch, etc. and the athletes are great but the "Corp"......) say what you want about the ITU, they aren't perfect but it's not about money to them, at the core of the ITU it's all about passion for our sport!

17. What happens after London 2012

SQW - 2016 for a fourth..!

18. Victoria, BC is the perfect training venue because?

SQW - The weather, especially in the summer. The lakes, the facilities, the trails, trails, trails. The people.

Jordan Rapp will win Ironman Hawaii when?
SQW - Yes. He really could, not because he's my closest friend outside of my family, I just really think he can.

Who inspires you.
SQW - My friends, close friends.

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