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GOAT - Nicola Spirig - Retires.

Nicola Spirig -The greatest female Olympian in Triathlon - Gold, Silver, and five Olympics - Retires!

Episode 141: Nicola Spirig -The greatest female Olympian in Triathlon - Gold, Silver, and five Olympics - Retires!

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After almost 30 years in the sport of Triathlon, Nicola Spirig completed her final rae this past weekend and we wanted to celebrate the incredible career of Nicola Spirig. In today’s episode (recorded in November 2021), Greg is joined by his wife Laura, and they talk with Nicola about her career and pull apart specific races and moments.

Nicola Spirig is a Swiss professional triathlete. She is a five-time Olympian, the 2012 Olympic, and six times European champion in women's triathlon. Nicola is married to fellow retired athlete Reto Hug, has three children, and during her athletic career completed a law degree.

As the conversation kicks off, Greg asks Nicola to reflect on this past year in the sport. She has been training and her next large goal is to complete an IronMan race in under eight hours. Even if a goal sounds impossible, she says it’s important to try, especially when the intention is to inspire others to follow their dreams. Nicola isn’t an extrovert who loves being in front of others, but she does love working with young people and is glad her status as an Olympian has given her this platform.

Going into the Tokyo Olympics, Nicola was ready. She was able to prepare without injury, compete in and win other good races like the European Championships, and beat some of her own personal best times. On race day, even though everyone had prepared for a hot day, it was raining, which for Nicola wasn’t a problem and she placed sixth. Today, she says she’s happy with her performance and wouldn’t change anything even though she didn’t get the medal she was aiming for.

Nicola grew up with parents who were sports teachers and had the luxury of trying many different sports. For a long time, she didn’t think of triathlon as a career, but rather as something she loved to do. She only considered herself a professional athlete for about two years, despite being involved in the sport for much longer. Her preparation around the London 2012 Olympics was nearly perfect and her at a professional level. She won the Olympic Gold medal just ahead of Lisa Norden, with their times being the same, and only a photograph was able to be used to separate their crossing the finish line.

For the Rio Olympics, things were different. She was injured, the defending Olympic champion, and she’d had a baby in the years since her Olympic win. She took home the silver from that race and says the experience was much different than the London Olympics, but she was still very happy with her performance. She reminds listeners that while yes it takes a lot to get a medal in the Olympic games, it also takes a lot to finish fourth, sixth, or tenth.

Laura and Greg then ask Nicola rapid-fire questions covering everything from TV and movies to household chores, to her taste in music. They wrap up the episode with Nicola sharing what her day-to-day life is like these days.


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