My sporting career began as a swimmer in Cape Town, South Africa, where I grew up between 1992 and 2004. At the age of 15 I learnt to swim, after my mum thought it might be in my best interest since surfing was fast becoming my favourite way to spend free time. In 1999 I joined the Clifton Surf Lifesavers and started competing on the beaches of South Africa.
Watching the Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney I discovered a new passion: TRIATHLON.
After my first „tri(e)s“ back in S.A., I sold my bike for a plane ticket to Europe to race in the German league. Having a successful season I made the jump to the U-23 national side, which enabled me to return to Germany in the following European summers. A silver medal at the 2004 U-23 world champs made it clear to me that I only wanted one thing: to turn pro.
Since then i moved to Saarbrücken and train up to 45 hours a week.
|Born||18th August 1981|
|2008 Olympic Champion|
|2008 Champion of the year (Germany)|
|2009 Gold at World Championship Series Race Yokohama|
|2010 Gold at World Championship Series Race Seoul|
New horizons on the way to London 2012September 19, 2011
Well, I´ve been wanting to do something different for a while- not permanently, but rather just to see something new and race somewhere without a blue carpet. Please don´t misunderstand me- I love racing ITU and short distance! But especially after a not so successful year between Budapest and Beijing I´m searching to turn my luck with a race simply to have FUN at: Xterra Worlds.
Conrad the caveman Stolz has led the way here for many years and he was one of my first heroes back at the Sydney Olympics. With Dan „D&G“ Hugo also being on the startline, the Stellenbosch crew, that first really inspired me to go mountainbiking is strongly represented. I´m just really looking forward to doing a bit of training with them, having a few coffees and diving into a different scene for a bit- from what I´ve heard Hawaii is nothing short of awesome.
On that note, I´d better get onto a 29er pretty soon. Not only have I lost a bet to do a team time trial (yes, off road…) with one of the local heroes from my hometown Saarbruecken (also known as Saarbrooklyn, halfway between Frankfurt and Paris) in a few days but also have I looked at the course, which mildly put seems hilly.
Anyways, I´ll be heading to Kona the weeks before to see what this “Ironman” hype is all about and see where our sport has some of it´s roots. If you´re racing, I´ll be cheering you on!;)
Beijing, 3 A.O. (3 years after the Olympics)September 8, 2011
This trip came with quite a bit of anticipation for me. A little more than 3 years ago a sprint on a blue carpet that is a stones throw from the hotel room I´m writing from, changed my life forever. Needless to say I was excited coming here, with a different perspective, some fond memories and a curiosity as to what has changed since the athletes, media and the Olympics left in 2008.
For the emotional bit- the first jog along the pontoon and bike ride over the course were goosebump moments for sure. Having pictured the course so many times and re-discovering the details I had once memorised was special. It feels a little like it happened just the other day and here and there the Olympics logo is still to be found. With a little imagination (for those of you that know it, think of the Coca-Cola ad, where the runner is pacing through the empty stadium and the caretaker cranks up the speakers with the jammed radio frequency that sounds like masses cheering;) I can still here the crowd screaming. This place has a great energy to it, and has always been a good raceground for me. And even now, having just come back from another run on the course and the what feels like the worlds biggest pontoon, I think I could run the 2,5km lap another 100times without being bored, reliving another detail that jumps back to mind of how the race unfolded. I´m certainly looking forward to getting to race this course once more!
I took some time to discover the surroundings by bike and as always, Asia has some interesting sights, sounds and well, smells to offer when you ride through a little village, or past one of the many vendors. My highlight would have to be the hotel lobby after the ride though, where over-night they built a coffee bar that leaves nothing to wish for, except maybe someone who knows how to operate it all. So after I offered to help and explained using hands and feet, that syrup, creamer and chocolate liqueur are optional extras for a drink called espresso, the barman decided to befriend me and offer me one of his drinks instead. Think petrol and sugar… Lots of sugar… I´m still not sure if out of curiosity what would happen to me if I drank it, or just politeness, I finished the glass in one go. As my internal organs turned, my brain prompted my face to return the smile, which prompted the barman to pour me another. My eyes scanned for any plants to pour my local delicacy into-without success. After 2 drinks of Chinese Jet fuel (or whatever else you can propel with it) I was a little shaky, but I now have a new friend every time I enter the lobby.
But after all, I´m very grateful to be able to spend a few more days in Beijing. A few more days of triathlon, watching thousands of Age-Groupers racing to their very limits but also enjoying being here, celebrating the annual final and for them one day world championship of our great sport. If you´re out there, enjoy, if not, try squeeze in a little swim, bike, or run today- it´s always worth it!