Gwen Jorgensen Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Triathlete
Although she finished in 38th place at the 2012 Games, U.S. Olympic triathlete Gwen Jorgensen felt buoyed by the support of fans who lined the course. “You could hear people cheering all the way around and it was really awesome to have that many fans out cheering for us. This was really exciting and it makes me want to keep trying,” Jorgensen told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
And while she swam and ran competitively at the University of Wisconsin, Jorgensen, 26, is relatively new to the Triathlon. It was only two years ago when Jorgensen was recruited by USA Triathlon to compete. The following year, she qualified for the Olympics by placing second in the ITU World Championship Series in London. “They gave me so much support and I’ve been able to qualify for the Olympics in less than two years,” Jorgensen told Uinterview in an exclusive interview. “It’s been just an incredible journey and something I feel really fortunate about.”
An extensive training program can also be credited for Jorgensen’s ascension into the triathlon. “Normally I’m doing six days of swimming a week, six days of biking a week and five days of running a week,” she told Uinterview. “It’s something we have to prepare for mentally, physically, nutrition, everything plays a factor in to it.” Her diet is also crucial to her success. “I really like to eat things that are healthy and a lot of times if I hear of a super food I’ll definitely go out and buy it. I had sunflower sprouts the other day for the first time. I enjoyed those and I put them on my salad.”
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I grew up swimming, I've swum competitively since age eight, and I also have a God-given talent in running. I swam and ran in college. The USA Triathlon came to me in 2010 and kind of recruited me into the sport, and they gave me so much support. I've been able to qualify for the Olympics in less than two years, and it's just been an incredible journey that I feel really fortunate about.
My nutrition is really important and it's something that I'm still learning about. I really try to make sure I'm eating the right food at the right time. I really like to eat things that are healthy all the time, and if I hear something is a super food I'll definitely go out and buy it. I had sunflower sprouts the other day for the first time and I enjoyed those, put them on my salad. There's no foods that I really try to stay away from completely — I think everything in moderation is key. But after the games I'm definitely looking forward to having a big bowl of ice cream.
There's a lot that goes into an event. I have a coach, and we really try to lay out a long-term plan. Normally, I'm doing six days of swimming a week, six days of biking a week and five days of running a week, and it's something we have to prepare for mentally, physically, nutrition, everything plays a factor into it.
When I'm at the start of an event, I really need to make sure I'm warmed up. I make sure that I do all three disciplines. I make sure I run, I bike and I swim. I also make sure my muscles are nice and loose and warm. I try to stay warm; if I get cold, I know that my muscles will tighten up, and that won't be good, so I just really try to make sure I'm warm — stretched out and warmed up.
I'd like to say I never get nervous for an event, but you know, a lot of times there are nerves, and a lot of times they're good nerves. Having a little bit of nerves is good — it helps get that excitement and adrenaline going, and something that helps make an event special and different than workouts.
Representing the United States of America is just an incredible honor. It's something that, I think, it brings the entire world together. And to be able to have something that brings the countries [together], to be able to support these athletes, it's something that I feel a lot of pride in.