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Kris Gemmell - World Champion, Olympian, Head of Commercial and Marketing World Triathlon

Kris Gemmell - World Champion, Olympian, Head of Commercial and Marketing World Triathlon

Episode 109 - Kris Gemmell - World Champion, Olympian, Head of Commercial and Marketing World Triathlon

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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)

Kris Gemmell is one of the most influential people in the world of Triathlon.

His career as an athlete was remarkable, with some of the most epic battles to the finish line we’ve ever seen. He went to two Olympics, two Commonwealth Games, and achieved 110 World Triathlon starts, 29 podiums and 9 wins.

Kris transitioned from athlete to partnerships and marketing positions within World Triathlon, previously known as the International Triathlon Union and hasn’t looked back. He’s now the Head of Marketing and Commercial for World Triathlon, where the World Triathlon Series continues to grow and deliver the greatest professional racing we see consistently in the world.

When Kris moved from Palmerston North to Christchurch in the late 1990s to study at the University of Canterbury, he was an aspiring Rugby union player. However an injury led to a chain of events that resulted in Kris coming to the attention and under the guidance of Doctor John Hellemans. Hellemans is a well known multiple World Champion Triathlete and coach.

In 1997, Gemmell competed in the ITU junior World Championships in Perth Australia coming a 6th in a field that included future World Champion Ivan Rana.

Kris' breakthrough race on the world stage in the senior ranks came in 2000 when he claimed 3rd place at the Tokyo round of the ITU World Cup.

Gemmell was selected for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England where he placed second for New Zealand and sixth in overall.

In 2007, Gemmell had enjoyed another consistent season with three podiums and two fourth places. One of those fourths was at the Beijing round of the ITU World Cup and this result gained Kris a nomination for the New Zealand Triathlon team to race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. At Beijing, he finished in 39th place.

He qualified again for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and finished in 15th place.

See the timestamps below for more detail.


0:00 - Introduction to show.

5:37 - When did you find your passion for sport and in particularly, triathlon?

12:02 - When did you compete in your first triathlon?

13:10 - Tell us about your experience working with Doctor John Hellemans.

14:22 - You led the New Zealand charge at a time the sport was developing, talk us through the people you feel helped change the trajectory of triathlon.

18:47 - Talk us through your view on the peaks and troughs that Federations go through in various parts of the world.

28:06 - Super League and Triathlon are communicating to build the sport, explain the internal view you have of this process and give us a glimpse of the future for the sport.

32:34 - The ITU has changed name to World Triathlon and it's never been a more exciting time to be an athlete coming into form in the sport. How do you see this changing the game?

43:03 - How do you see World Triathlons role becoming more viable and sustainable and helping the different world calendar events?

50:18 - Kris shares some of his fondest memories of his career.

58:46 - 9.2 million views of the 2005 New Plymouth World Cup of the sprint between Kris and Bevan Docherty

1:05:22 - Talk us through your win in Rhodes (2007) against a young Alistair Brownlee.

1:15:25 - So what's next for Kris Gemmell going forward in 2022?


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