Three-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington speaks candidly in an interview about her body image, how she got into the sport and what she’s sacrificed for success.
Chrissie Wellington did not even discover sport until her early twenties. Now, the civil servant from rural Norfolk is the greatest female endurance athlete on the planet. Here, she describes the sacrifices she has made for ironman triathlon and why they are all worthwhile.
It is rare to hear someone so openly appreciative of their own physique as Chrissie Wellington. “I love my body,” she declares. “I am more than content with it. I take a holistic view and see it not just as the contours of my skin but as the muscles, sinews, bones and everything else. This body has taken me to heights that I never imagined. I do love it, and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way.”
Most 33-year old-women would rather curl up and die than pose, oiled up, in a swimsuit in the middle of a busy café. Not Wellington. She leaps on to a table in the canteen at Birmingham University in front of the gathered students and happily strikes pose after pose for the photographer. You can see why she shows such willing – hers is a body that has been worked on and honed to within an inch of its life. “I’m not flawless,” she says standing, muscular arms akimbo, on the wobbly table. “I have unattractive feet, unruly hair and oversized calves, but I push this body to its absolute limit and it has never let me down.”