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Simon Whitfield - Olympian, Investor, Advisor & Keynote Speaker

Simon Whitfield - Olympic Gold Medallist Sydney 2000, Olympic Silver Medallist Beijing 2008, Olympic Athlete 2000,2004,2008,2012, Member Olympic Hall of Fame, Member Canada Sport Hall of Fame

Episode 117 - Simon Whitfield - Olympian, Investor, Advisor & Keynote Speaker

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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)

Simon Whitfield made history in his Olympic debut at Sydney 2000 where he unexpectedly became the first ever Olympic champion in men’s triathlon. An outstanding runner, Whitfield moved himself from the middle of the field after the swimming and cycling legs to the top step of the podium. He used his sprint speed to catch and pass the leader, German Stephan Vuckovic, less than 300 metres from the finish line before pulling away for the victory.

After an 11th place finish at Athens 2004, Whitfield and his team decided he needed a new strategy at Beijing 2008. Teammate Colin Jenkins willingly took up the role of domestique, which was a tactic borrowed from road cycling. Jenkins’ job was to get out of the water at the front of the pack and keep the leaders close during the cycling leg, chasing down and reeling in anyone who attempted to break away. That set the stage for Whitfield to shine during the 10-kilometre run. Fourth heading into the final lap, Whitfield picked up his pace for another sprint to the finish line, coming away with the silver medal.

For his fourth Olympic Games at London 2012, Whitfield was selected as Team Canada’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. But he was unable to finish his last Olympic race when he crashed his bike going over a speed bump and suffered a small break to his collarbone. The two-time Olympic medalist announced his retirement in October 2013.

Whitfield’s success at multi-sport games also includes the bronze medal won at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg as well as the first ever gold medal awarded in triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

During his 16 years as an elite international competitor, Whitfield earned 14 ITU World Cup victories and was a 12-time national champion. He received Honourary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Guelph and the University of Victoria. Whitfield was inducted the ITU Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

See the timestamps below for more detail of the conversation between 'Benno' and Simon.


0:00 - audio snippet

1:28 - Introduction to show.

3:47 - Interview starts.

8:38 - Where in the world is Simon Whitfield?

10:18 - The relationship between sport and competition can be detrimental. As athletes we were always peering over the edge of our ability, however Simon realised something startling about his need for adventure once he retired.

17:14 - The journey for Simon from first finding Triathlon is extraordinary. His message is to say 'yes' to every opportunity and go out into the world and 'explore'.

31:07 - Simon describes the feelings that happen for an elite athlete during an Olympic Games event. From the hurt box, to the mindset that is uncomfortable, explorative, addictive ... present. He describes it as the 'most alive' you'll ever be.

48:58 - The champs chat sport and politics ... particularly as it relates to the current situation in Europe.

52:34 - The sport of Triathlon has changed over the decades and with so much wisdom between them, Greg and Simon chat through the science, the modern athlete mindset, the gadgets that now measure and quantify performances.

1:09:49 - Who is the greatest athlete of all time? (what a list!!!)

1:15:45 - Some wonderful book suggestions from both men. (see below for links and details)

1:19:53 - What's next for Simon Whitfield?

1:22:18 - Interview ends.


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Books mentioned

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder - Nassim Nicholas Nicholas Taleb

Find Simon Whitfield online:

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