They’re inspirational, powerful and changing the sport of triathlon from the inside out.
The staff at Inside Triathlon asked: Which 10 people had the most influence on triathlon in the United States in 2012?
Our list, ranked in order of impact, was chosen based on 2012 happenings—not based on influence since the creation of triathlon. It reflects the group of people who are directing the future of the sport, are changing the general perception of the sport—positively or negatively—or are molding the minds within the sport. Find out who #10 is below and check back throughout the next two weeks to find out our complete list. Don’t want to wait? The complete list is in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon, on newsstands now.
#10: Barb Lindquist
Barb Lindquist, a member of the 2004 USA Olympic triathlon team and a 10-time member of the U.S. world championship team, inarguably helped lead the sport of triathlon into its inclusion in the Olympic Games. But as far as the USA goes, her impact on triathlon may just be beginning.
Lindquist is now working with USA Triathlon to identify and recruit top prospects for the Olympic program from college swimming and track teams.
“All of our Olympians either ran or swam in college,” Lindquist says, explaining the basis of the USAT’s college recruitment program. Lindquist’s job is to identify and select appropriate talent, and for those accepted, to mentor them into multisport.
Gwen Jorgensen, a 2012 USA Olympic triathlon team member, is proof of the USAT program’s merit. Formerly a runner and swimmer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she was the second amateur at the 2010 USA Triathlon Elite Development race, her first competitive triathlon. Since then, she has become one of the best American racers on the ITU circuit, nabbing one of the three spots on the U.S. Olympic team.
Lindquist scouts at national championships, establishing relationships with swimming and track coaches, eventually inviting top prospects who meet specific performance standards to a one-week camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the Olympic Training Center.
“The depth and quality of the athletes we’re seeing is amazing,” Lindquist says. “Comparing where they’re at now to what I was seeing when I first placed in the top 10 at a World Cup is really exciting.”
Path to Influence:
1988 | Becomes a finalist in three events at the U.S. Olympic swim team trials.
1996 | Begins professional career as triathlete.
2004 | Makes the U.S. Olympic team and places ninth in the Athens Olympics.
2009 | USA Triathlon launches college recruitment program and names Lindquist as the program coordinator.
2010 | Gwen Jorgensen, a former college runner and swimmer, is recruited into the USAT 2012 program and is named the USAT Rookie of the Year.
2012 | Jorgensen becomes the first recruit from USAT’s program to race in the Olympic Games.
See if you can guess who’s #9 on our list from his/her Path to Influence:
2006 | Earned master’s degree in exercise physiology from Ball State University, a mecca of American sports science.
2009 | Began working at Retül in Boulder; also began consultant relationship with Craig “Crowie” Alexander.
2010 | Coaching work with Crowie became “full blown.”
2012 | Became Mirinda Carfrae’s head coach. Launched website (fiftyonespeedshop.com) and coaching operation for age groupers.