Having returned to the sport at the beginning of 2023, Gwen Jorgensen has made an impressive rise back to the upper echelons of short course triathlon racing over the last 12 months.
Following a string of victories at the World Triathlon Cup level last season, the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist has put herself in contention to make a second Olympic team this year in Paris.
After stepping away from the sport eight years ago having fallen out of love with triathlon, the American revealed that she has surprised even herself with how much she is now enjoying it.
However, the 37-year-old said that whilst she wasn’t ready to be done with triathlon after this Olympic cycle, plans to try and qualify for a home Olympics in LA in 2028 isn’t on the cards.
“It can be a thankless job”
Speaking with TRI247 ahead of the start of her 2024 season, Jorgensen said that qualifying for a home Olympics in 2028 would be very challenging, especially as she enters the final years of her career.
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
“I love plans, but I know I can’t plan that far in advance. Sport is hard. You dedicate every hour of the day to it through workouts, recovery, bed time.
“Everything you do impacts performance and it can be a thankless job unless you have a strong mission. My love for triathlon, the training and racing, has been surprising.
“Even in my worst moments this past year I have enjoyed the sport. I am not ready to be done with triathlon yet and we are also not sure we are done growing our family.
“The reality is I would be 42 in 2028 so time is not on my side for athletics to continue forever nor for me to bear children forever.”
Pride in Paris prep
With the culmination of the crucial final stage of qualification for this year’s Olympics drawing closer, we asked Jorgensen how missing out on the Paris Olympics would impact her assessment of her second stint in triathlon.
“I have an entire mission statement that I have shared with those closest to me. My biggest theme is being bold, taking chances, and going after things even when I could be in a vulnerable state.
“This past year I executed being bold in ways that I am proud of and plan to continue on this journey of boldness, among other things.
“My main goal is the Olympics but I cannot control others and can only control how I race and conduct myself.”
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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