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Posted: February 7, 2004
Triathlon: 20 Questions for Canada's Simon Whitfield, Olympic Champion
Runner's Web 20 Questions - Athlete's profile
This month we profile: Simon Whitfield, 2000 Olympic Triathlon Champion
Full Name: Simon St.Quentin Whitfield
Born (City): Kingston Ontario
Current Hometown: Victoria BC, Ganges Harbour Salts Spring Island BC,
Coach: Lance Watson
Sponsors: NIKE, RBC, WeberNaturals, Primus.ca, Gurubikes.com, Chrysler, Triathlon Canada.
Personal Web Site: www.simonwhitfield.com.   TriathlonCanada.com.
Favourite Web Site: www.themeatrix.com
1. Runner's Web (RW): When and where did you start competing and in what sports?
Simon Whitfield (SW): Soccer the moment after I could crawl, triathlon age 11
2. RW:: At what age do you consider you became a "serious" athlete and in what sport?
SW: Age 15, triathlon
3. RW:: Are you currently a full-time athlete? If so how do you support your full-time participation?
SW: Endorsement Partnerships
4. RW: Who has had the greatest influence on your athletic career to date?
SW: My Parents and close friends,
5. RW: Could you discuss your training in terms of an average week's workouts prior to racing season? Also could you review, at a high level, your macro program for a year? Do you do most of your training alone or as part of a group or does it vary by discipline?
SW: I love training in a group at the National training Center in Victoria (BC), I train 7days a week around 30 hrs all told, Lance Watson puts to together a very comprehensive training plan, I am constantly analyzing the details and coaching the coaches.
6. RW: What are your short-term (rest of the year) and long-term goals?
SW: My short Term goals revolve around doing the preparation needed to defend my Olympic Title. My long Term goals in sport a very unclear after that, the other things in life beckon.
7. RW: What do you consider your best race to-date and why?
SW: Olympic Games 2000, I raised my level with an inherent internal belief and drive, 2002 Commonwealth Games, I rose to the challenge, 2003 Lifetime Fitness, best bike run I've ever had, regardless of the naysayers who cried drafting (got to get my shots in).
8. RW: What do you consider your strongest leg of the triathlon?
SW: Running off the bike
9. RW: Do you have any interest in coaching or other involvement in sport after you stop competing?
SW: Not sure yet, maybe training camps but my farm calls.
10. RW: Drafting in ITU races is seen by non-pro duathletes/triathletes as changing the sport. What are your feelings regarding drafting?
SW: Drafting has created a new avenue for more athletes to earn a living and compete full time in Triathlon, more options for the athletes and raised the general level of the sport. I have enormous respect for Non drafting races and the athletes who specialize in that event. We all train with the same commitment and sacrifice at the top level, people insecurities shine when they complain about it.
11. RW: What do you consider your favourite race and why?
SW: Ishigaki Jima in Japan, early April every year, best race venue, amazing cultural experience, great race.
12. RW: What do you consider your greatest achievement in the sport?
SW: I've always respected the people who established our great sport and remained humble to their accomplishments and stayed approachable.
13. RW: The Ironman Triathlon gets more profile than the ITU circuit. What do you think of the Ironman event as compared to the Olympic distance?
SW: I love the Ironman, the age groupers who work full time and change some much of their lifestyle to achieve a finish, I train with Peter Reid, he's amazing, trains hard, is very dedicated, I have a lot of respect for him.
14. RW: Have you done an Ironman (if so, how many) or would you consider doing one?
SW: As for doing one, I might have to live the ironman dream through Jasper Blake.
15. RW: If you could design your own Olympic distance triathlon course what features would it have?
SW: I'd have another crack at this years worlds where I was in the best shape of my life and just F$%^ed up.
16. RW: Do you feel that Canada provides sufficient support for athletes and for potential Olympic team members in general?
SW: Triathlon Canada does an amazing job, I'm not just being diplomatic here, Bill Hallett and the other volunteers have worked for so many years to provide us with every opportunity possible, they distribute as much of their resources as possible with little regard for their own time. I would like the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) to put together an athlete agreement that ties substantial athlete funding to community commitment. Athletes need to prove our value instead of looking for hand outs without a commitment to put back in.
17. RW: What activities do you do away from sport to relax?
SW: Learn about farming, my environmental and social responsibility, my own struggle with my own hypocrisy. Relaxing on my farm (cabin now, farm later). Hang out with my better half Jennie and our three cats.
18. RW: What is your racing schedule for the next year?
SW: Not sure yet, Athens in August.
19. RW: Who would you consider the top Olympic distance triathlete in the world right now?
SW: Lots of guys are raising the level, Rasmus Henning, Ivan Rana, Craig Walton, Simon Lessing (although he's forgotten how to smile), Greg Bennett, Peter Robertson, Thomo (Simon Thompson), Hunter Kemper,
20. RW: How long do you intend to compete at the top level?
SW: Not sure, like I said the farm beckons.
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