Vancouver, Canada (February 4, 2008) - Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Whitfield was in Vancouver this afternoon to officially launch the 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships. The event will take place from June 6th to 8th and will be the final Olympic qualifying race for the Canadian Triathlon Olympic team.
"It's a thrill to be in Vancouver and it's exciting to feel the momentum building towards this World Championships here in Vancouver, especially against such a fantastic backdrop of this city," said Whitfield.
Last year's second ranked triathlete in the world spoke about the home crowd support that will hopefully propel him to victory in June, which would make him the first triathlete to win both Olympic and World Championship gold.
"Certainly it's a huge advantage (to race at home), especially with the familiarity of the city of Vancouver and the weather," said Whitfield. "Of my nine World Cup wins, I've won a lot of them in Canada so it definitely helps to race in front of the home crowd."
Whitfield was in town with his wife Jennie and their 7-month old daughter, Pippa Kathryn. As a new father he admitted he's a much different athlete now than at the past two Olympics in Sydney and Athens.
"I get a lot less sleep now with Pippa," joked Whitfield. "My training day usually starts with watching her trying to crawl. In Sydney I was a wide-eyed kid standing at the start line thinking, 'I can't believe I'm here'. In Athens, I felt like I was a man on a mission, that was my motto but that's just not me, I don't operate within serious guidelines. I need to have a little fun with it, be a little more relaxed and that's the attitude I'll take to Beijing and Vancouver," said Whitfield.
The two-time Olympian is coming off one of his most successful seasons ever with three BG Triathlon World Cup titles and his best ever performance at a World Championships, fourth in Hamburg, Germany. He will open his 2008 season in at the Mooloolaba BG Triathlon World Cup in Australia on March 30, then head to the New Plymouth BG Triathlon World Cup in New Zealand on April 6. On June 6-8, thousands of Canadians will have the opportunity watch Whitfield compete in Vancouver for the one major prize that has eluded him, the Triathlon World Championships.
Visit www.triathlonvancouver.com for more information.
Michael Bradley Photography