Best of 2017: Most Inspirational
Every year and every single new triathlon season always brings its own set of memorable moments such as exciting performances, close battles on the race course, personal best finishes and emotional triumphs. The 2017 season was no different, from the World Triathlon Series, World Cups, Multisport milestones and Paratriathlon Championships, the whole entire season was one for the record books.
So, what better way to honour an amazing season such as the one of 2017 than to name the Best of the Best!
Over the rest of the month of January we will be naming the “Best of 2017” moments from the year, anything from overall athletes to top race performances to inspirational finishes because when you have a year like we just had, you have to celebrate it!
Today we honour four athletes who not just compete, but perform in a race and inspire the world that anyone can keep going, complete a goal and do anything that they put their mind to: MOST INSPIRATIONAL
Men’s Inspirational Moment: Alistair Brownlee (GBR) returns to remain hometown hero
Despite announcing that 2017 would be a year to focus on longer-distance triathlons, the WTS had a special treat when Brownlee decided to race in #WTSLeeds. The two-time Olympic gold medallist returned to his hometown race to reclaim his Leeds title. What could be more inspiring for a test of determination than stepping in to compete in one race of the year and not only winning it but DOMINATING it to claim the gold!
Men’s Inspirational Moment: Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) returns after injury to win #WTSAbuDhabi
It was a great disappointment to learn that Gomez would not be racing in the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics because of a bike training injury. Missing out on that race and the rest of the WTS in 2016 was a tough loss for the triathlon world. But fast forward to the start of the 2017 WTS season and for the season opening race, Gomez is toeing the line in Abu Dhabi. He is back! And not only that, but he goes on to win the standard-distance race! There is a reason that Gomez is a five-time World Champion - he prevails, he succeeds and NOTHING can stop him!
Women’s Inspirational Moment: Andrea Hewitt (NZL) wins emotional WTS gold in place where late fiance was honoured
Hewitt’s Abu Dhabi win was such a powerful moment for triathlon in 2017 that we haven’t been able to stop talking about it. It was the definition of INSPIRING last season. Not only did she sprint her way to the finisher’s tape to claim gold for the first time in over five years, but she did so in the place that will forever be known as more than just a race venue or a stop on the WTS tour. In 2016, Abu Dhabi was the event that honoured her late fiance Laurent Vidal, who passed away in 2015. So, not only was her win EPIC and AMAZING, but it was EMOTIONAL as it was a win with a lot more meaning and significance than even a gold medal can bring.
Women’s Inspirational Moment: Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) runs for her life in #WTSRotterdam
Gentle had one of her career-best seasons in 2017, winning her first WTS gold in Montreal and remaining among the top of the rankings almost the entire year. Upon entering the Grand Final race in Rotterdam, it was determined that she needed to finish at least sixth to maintain her spot on the overall Series podium. During the race, upon entering T2 Gentle was almost three minutes down and it looked like she would miss out on the podium. However, Gentle put up a MONSTER of a run to close her deficit and finish exactly in the spot needed to become the World Champion runner-up! What a test of never giving up!