Sunday, November 7, 2010

I heart Chrissie Wellington

She is such a classy woman! She seems so well spoken, stands up for herself and others, makes no excuses, gives credit where it is due, and is a tremendous athlete! All of this she proved in how she handled not starting Ironman Hawaii. I usually don't get so excited about professional athletes. Well, maybe I do in their performance, but certainly not their personality.

I just read an interview with her on firstoffthebike.com. Here are some highlights:

Did that annoy you though? The speculation that – I mean, obviously it’s such a small industry and people are going to talk. The fact that people aren’t taking you at face value?

However, there were a couple of articles that were actually published by journalists that were libelist and we had to take legal action to have those removed and apologies issued. And those two are slightly different. It’s all very well for the public to speculate, but I think when it’s done more professionally in print media, then action needs to be taken. In terms of does it bother me, what frustrates me is that it undermines my and other athletes’ credibility. The thing that’s most important to me is to be credible. To have credible victories and win in a manner that people can identify with and that can inspire and encourage people. So people start questioning me as an athlete and my motives, and yes, my reasons for withdrawing from the race. And I feel that it undermines my credibility. And therefore, I can’t be the role model that I want to be.

And so what were your thoughts on the race? Obviously, you had a well, you were replaced as one of a better term, as the World Title Holder. And Mirinda Carfrae took over your title after a great day out. Obviously, she would’ve been one of your biggest threats. How did you see the race?
...But Rinny’s (Carfrae) an amazing athlete. She’s phenomenal and she has shown this year that she can produce the goods across the board, not just at Ironman, but in all other distances. And that’s an amazing talent and one that I don’t have, and which I really admire in her. She’s a worthy champion and I take nothing away from her.

So looking over your body of work at the moment in your career, how do you compare it to what you were doing previous to triathlon? I mean, do you think can compare it in terms of how you motivate others and the altruistic aspect of what you did prior to becoming a professional triathlete?
I think being a professional triathlete has given me more of a platform to do the things that I was already passionate about, and that’s something that, I think now that I’m not the current world champion, I might have more time to do. I’m already putting wheels in motion in terms of establishing my own foundation and things like that, so that I can maximise the amazing opportunity that I’ve been given. I think I’ve, through the things I’ve done before, it’s enabled me to kind of grow stronger as an athlete, and throughout my life I’ve been kind of driven and obsessed and determined. I’ve just channelled it into different things. You know, academia and my work, and now triathlon.

Just on that, when you were the reigning World Title Holder, you had a lot to say about the WTC’s restructuring a lot of their rules and their professional regulations. Did you feel exposed when you were making those comments because your counterpart in the male ranks wasn’t saying a heck of a lot. Did that make you feel exposed at all?
We’re all different as athletes in how we approach our career, and I felt, as World Champion, and ...a person, an athlete... one of the top athletes, and hence have a personal belief that I have a responsibility to articulate not only my views but also the views of those that perhaps don’t have a voice, being the, for want of a better word, lower-tier pro’s and the age-groupers.

And if I feel strongly against or for something that the governing body, the WTC, other race organisers are doing is right or wrong, then I’ll speak out. Did I feel exposed? I hope I verbalised my opinions in a way that didn’t necessarily antagonise those that I was commenting on. I just wanted to raise the questions that I felt needed to be asked. And I feel that the pressure we brought to bear, in this case, on the WTC, not just me but other athletes, that we brought to bear actually helped in affecting some positive change... I will continue to voice my opinion, even though I’m not World Champion, because I think it needs to be done. And I think that the powers that be need to be held accountable by those whose policy it’s going to impact the most, and that’s the athletes.

Those are just some of my favorite parts. You can read the whole interview/article here.

Also, you can check out her blog.

No comments: