In the world of triathlon, there are many names and faces that have defined and continue to change the sport. From those who defined the sport in its early phases to those pushing the boundaries of what’s possible today, there are a few names every new (and experienced!) triathlete should know. In this post, we will focus on the big names on both the ITU and IRONMAN circuits - from World Champions to Olympians, this is the who’s who of today’s triathlon scene.
Flora Duffy - Flora Duffy, born and raised in Bermuda, is a highly decorated triathlete racing internationally for her home country. Duffy is a three-time Olympian, racing at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, is the 2016 and 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series World Champion, the 2015 and 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion and a five-time winner of the XTERRA (Off-road Triathlon) World Championships. Duffy also was the first Bermudan female triathlete to win a Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, winning the sprint triathlon by 43-seconds in 2018.
Katie Zaferes - Katie Zaferes, born in Hampstead, Maryland, is an American triathlete that has steadily climbed the ranks of the World Triathlon Series over the past five years. Running track at the University of Syracuse before transitioning to the ITU triathlon series, Katie climbed her way from a fifth-place ranking in 2015 to the ITU World Champion in 2019.
Javier Gomez Noya - Javier Gomez Noya is a Spanish triathlete that has found success on both the ITU and IRONMAN circuits. Starting in the ITU triathlon series, Gomez has won five ITU Triathlon World Championships, holds three ITU Triathlon World Cup titles and won the Silver medal in triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Following the Summer Olympics, Gomez went on to race and win his first-ever off-road triathlon at the 2012 XTERRA World Championship. Continuing to race on the ITU circuit, Gomez then branched into middle distance (also known as half-ironman or 70.3), racing and winning his second middle distance race at Ironman 70.3 Panama in 2014 and continuing on to win the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. In 2019, Gomez won (and set a course record at) his first full Ironman distance race at Ironman Malaysia, qualifying him to race at the 2020 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Alistair Brownley - Alistair Brownley is a British triathlete and the only athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the triathlon event. Along with his two Gold medals from the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, he also is a two-time Triathlon World Champion, a two-time World Team Champion, a four-time European Champion and the 2014 Commonwealth champion. Following the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brownlee set his sights on the Ironman distance, winning his debut Ironman at Ironman Cork and punching his ticket to the 2019 World Championships in Kona, HI. Though his performance did not go to plan in Kona, he went on to win and set the course record at Ironman Western Australia in December of 2019. While he qualified for the 2020 Ironman World Championships, rumor has it he has is eyes set on an Olympic comeback…
Daniela Ryf - Daniela Ryf is a Swiss triathlete and four-time Ironman World Champion and five-time 70.3 World Champion. She is one of the most decorated Ironman triathletes to-date. In addition to her success on the Ironman racecourse, she also competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics for her home country of Switzerland.
Lucy Charles-Barclay - Beginning her professional career after an Age Group win at the 2015 Ironman World Championships, Lucy Charles-Barclay has quickly climbed the ranks as a successful Ironman and 70.3-distance triathlete, most recently achieving a second-place finish at the 2019 Ironman World Championship behind competitor Anne Haug. Between 2015 and 2019, she has achieved Ironman titles at Ironman Lanzarote, Challenge Family’s ‘The Championship,’ Ironman South Africa, Challenge Roth and the European Ironman Championships.
Jan Frodeno - Jan Frodeno is a German triathlete who first established his place in the sport with a Gold medal win at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Returning to the Summer Olympics in 2012, he finished 6th place, after which he started to branch into longer distance endurance triathlons. After a few years competing on both the ITU and Ironman circuits, Frodeno became the first triathlete to win both the Olympic Triathlon Gold and the Ironman World Championship title. He has since won two more Ironman World Championship titles, two Ironman 70.3 World Champion titles and is the world record holder for the long-distance triathlon.
Tim O’Donnell - Timothy O’Donnell, aka ‘Tio,’ is one of the most accomplished American triathletes to-date. O’Donnell has earned 50+ podium finishes over the course of his career, including nine Ironman 70.3 victories, two Ironman wins and most recently, a second-place finish at the 2019 Ironman World Championship. He is married to professional triathlete Mirinda Carfrae, a highly accomplished long-distance triathlete, who he partners with to host The Tim & Rinny Show.
If you’re looking for training, recovery and nutrition tips, or just some simple inspiration, give these guys a follow on Instagram! Nothing better than the cream of the crop to leave you feeling excited and inspired for the upcoming race season.