Simon Whitfield - Olympic Champion
Simon Whitfield - Olympic Champion
Episode Name: 1. Simon Whitfield
On this episode of BE with Champions, host Greg Bennett interviews Olympian Simon Whitfield. Simon holds the 2000 Olympic triathlon gold medal, and the 2008 Olympic triathlon silver medal, as well as 12 consecutive Canadian triathlon championships, to name just a few of his achievements. He is now a speaker, recreational soccer player, father, and owner of company South Island Sup.
Simon has always had a love for adventure, sport, and the outdoors. Throughout his young life, he played basketball, hockey, and soccer, which prepared him for his eventual triathlon career. This career began when, at age 16, he moved from his home in Canada to Sydney, Australia for a year abroad. There he met host Greg Bennett and shortly became a part of the Balmoral Triathlon Club, which he says began his immersion in the sport. In this club he found home, a community, and lifelong friends. The group taught him the fundamentals of endurance, which he says is an important element of who he is today.
From there he recalls little moments that ingrained in him a belief in himself and opened his mind to the possibility that he might be able to pursue a career as a triathlete. Aussie culture taught him much that Canadian culture could not: to be resilient, do the hard things, and resist fragility. Though a skilled runner, Simon struggled with the swimming part of the triathlon for 17 years, but he pushed through, implementing snorkeling into his training to focus on his breathing and improve as a swimmer. This finally led to a leading swim time at a world series triathlon, one of Simon’s proudest moments.
Through broken bones, torn ligaments, and unbearable soreness, Simon learned that there are different seasons to train. He gained patience during the times when he had to take it easy, but never stopped training, believing that consistency is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Through it all, his partner of ten years, Jenny, and his current partner, Tamara, supported him through the sacrifices and general fatigue that come with being a professional athlete. Simon is grateful for his supportive family system and maintains that such a system is necessary for the success of a young athlete.
In 2017, Simon was inducted in the Olympic Hall of Fame, honoring his wins in 2000 and 2008. Though Simon is now retired from professional sport, he currently plays in an over-35s soccer division, and looks forward to participating in paddling races and marathons just for fun. He also owns an outdoor excursion company called South Island Sup. He lives in Canada with his partner and five daughters, still in love with the outdoors and whatever adventure awaits.
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