Matt Grevers set a new Olympic Record and took home a Gold Medal for USA in the 100m backstroke with a time of 52.18 at the London Games. In addition, Grevers won a Silver Medal in the 400m freestyle relay and Gold Medal in the 400m medley relay in London. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Grevers won a Silver Medal in the 100m backstroke, and two more Gold Medals in the 400m freestyle and medley relays, bringing his total Olympic medal count to six. Nicknamed Dutch because both of his parents are from the Netherlands, Grevers proposed to his fiance, U.S. swimmer Annie Chandler, at the 2012 Missouri Grand Prix. Grevers resides in Tuscon, Arizona where he trains at Tucson Ford Aquatics.
Nick Thoman won two medals at his first Olympics in London in the 100m backstroke and the 400m medley relay. Thoman claimed an individual Silver medal in the 100m backstroke, where he posted a time of 52.92. He earned his first Olympic Gold medal for his participation in the 400m medley relay preliminaries. Thoman swam the backstroke on the first leg of the relay with a split of 53:31, helping to qualify the U.S. to finals. Thoman also has a World Championship Gold Medal for his performance in the 400m medley relay at the 2011 Worlds. Nick is from Cincinnati, Ohio but resides in North Carolina where he trains at SwimMac under coach Dave Marsh. Nick’s grandfather, Richard Thoman, was a world record-holder in the 100m backstroke in the 1940s.
Ricky Berens won Olympic Gold and Silver as part of the U.S.A.’s 800m and 400m freestyle relay teams in London. Ricky swam the third leg in the 800m freestyle final to help the U.S. win Gold. In addition, Ricky has an Olympic Gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Games in the 800m freestyle relay. A three-time World Championship Gold Medalist, Ricky grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina before heading to the University of Texas to swim for the Longhorns. Ricky now resides in Los Angeles, CA with his girlfriend, Olympic Gold Medalist Rebecca Soni, where he trains at Trojan Swim Club.
Ariana Kukors qualified to her first Olympics Games in London in the 200 IM. Kukors swam a fantastic race with a time of 2:09:83 to finish fifth overall at the Games. In 2011, Ariana won a Bronze Medal at the World Championships in her signature event the 200 IM. Prior to that, she won two medals at the 2010 Short Course World Championships: a Gold in the 100m IM and a Bronze in the 200m IM. Kukors set a World Record in the 2009 in the 200m IM on her way to becoming a World Champion. This record of 2:06:15 still stands today. Kukors grew up in Auburn, WA swimming with her two sisters Emily and Mattie. She now trains at Bolles under coach Sergio Lopez in Jacksonville, Florida.
Amanda Weir won her third Olympic medal in London as part of the 400m freestyle relay team. Weir helped the U.S. to a Bronze medal by swimming the second leg in the preliminary heat. Weir also has two Olympic Silver medals from the 2004 Athens Games where she swam the 400m freestyle relay and 400m medley relay. In addition to her Olympic medals, Amanda has seven World Championship relay medals: two Gold, four Silver, and one Bronze from the 2005, 2007, and 2011 World Championships. Nicknamed Hollywood because of her love of sunglasses, Amanda loves drawing, interior design, and photography. Weir is married to Chris Davis, Jr., the son of her coach, and currently resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Coming off a huge win at 2012 Ironman Lake Placid, Andy Potts looks poised to have his best season yet. Potts took his fourth Escape from Alcatraz title this year, and also holds two other Ironman victories from 2010 Ironman Coeur d’Alene and 2010 Ironman Cozumel. Potts had the fastest swim split at the 2010 & 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, solidifying his position as one of the fastest swimmers in Ironman racing. Hoping to eclipse his career-best 7th place finish in 2009 at the Ironman World Championship, Potts will once again be the one of the top Americans racing in Hawaii this year. A 2004 Olympian and 6x All-American for the University of Michigan, Potts and his wife Lisa have two children Boston and Sloane.
The highest ranked woman on Esquire’s list of “50 Best Athletes Right Now” (she ranked 8th ahead of Novak Djokovic and Kobe Bryant), Wellington is certainly the best female athlete of her day. A 4x Iroman World Champion (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), Wellington has remained undefeated at the Ironman distance throughout her career. She holds the Ironman World Record at 8:33:56 set at 2011 Ironman South Africa, and the Iron Distance World Record at 8:18:13 set at 2011 Challenge Roth. Wellington’s fourth World Championship title was won with torn pectoral and intercostal muscles, severe bruises and road rash from a bike crash two weeks before the race. Chrissie has taken 2012 off from competition to promote her autobiography, “A Life Without Limits”.
Craig Alexander, better known as “Crowie”, is a five-time World Champion. In 2010, Alexander was named one of Inside Triathlon Magazine’s 10 Greatest Male Iron-Distance Triathletes of All Time and one of Inside Triathlon Magazine’s 15 Greatest Male Triathletes of All Time. In 2011, Crowie did the unthinkable becoming the first professional triathlete to win both the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championship in the same year. He was the oldest male (38) in history to win the infamous Ironman Hawaii AND he also broke the course record. Alexander resides in both Boulder, CO and his home of New South Wales, Australia with his wife Nerida and his two kids Lucy and Austin.
Pete Jacobs earned the 2012 Ironman World Championship title with a time of 8:18:37. Beginning his day with a 51:28 swim split, Jacobs had the fourth fastest swim split in his TYR Torque Pro Swimskin and Tracer Racing Goggles. Jacobs then went on to tally a 4:35:15 bike split, despite some fierce and relentless winds. He would finish his day with a 2:48:05 marathon run, the top split of the day for the world title.
Earlier this season, Jacobs finished 2nd at Ironman Lake Placid and placed 1st at Ironman 70.3 Philippines. At the 2011 Ironman World Championship, Pete Jacobs finished 2nd and had the fastest run in Kona with his marathon split of 2:42:29. 2011 was a great season for Jacobs, as he won his first Ironman at Ironman Australia and again took home a victory at Ironman 70.3 Philippines. Pete resides in Sydney, Australia with his wife Jaimielle.
Sarah Haskins is already amazing and getting better every second. Everyone following the sport is predicting her as an Olympic favorite in 2012. Sure, it’s a lot of pressure, but Sarah has found a really good way of dealing with it — by winning. She recently took number one at the 2010 Life Time Fitness Triathlon and was selected to the Gold Group in the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series. A high school swimmer and runner, she completed her first triathlon in 2003. The next year, she was accepted to the Resident Triathlon Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where she met her husband, triathlete, Nate Kortuem. (TYR is considering pre-signing any children they might have.)
Runner up at last year’s Ironman World Championships, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae has placed either 1st or 2nd at the last three World Championships. Rinny also won Ironman 70.3 World title in 2007. So far in 2012, Carfrae has won Rev3 Quassy and Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. A native Australian, Rinny grew up playing basketball before transitioning to Olympic Distance triathlon in 2001, and is now a force to be reckoned with at the Ironman and half-Ironman distances. Rinny splits her time between California, Colorado, and her native Queensland, Australia and recently became engaged to fellow triathlete Tim O’Donnell.
T.J. is the Swiss Army knife of humans. He’s been a standout soccer player, wrestler and swimmer. He’s an industrial engineer. He started his own company and has plans to own about 40 more. Realizing a sport based on three skill sets was just up his alley, he committed to triathlons in 2003, placing second in his age group at the World’s Qualifier. Since then, he has steadily improved, taking 2nd in three Ironman races. Like you’d expect from a guy who takes on challenges like other people eat potato chips, T.J. likes to race one way — all out and out front.
Dr. Amanda Stevens set the all-time fastest Ironman swim split this year with a 45:04 at the Ironman European Championships in Frankfurt. This comes as no surprise as Stevens was first out of the water for the pro women at last year’s Ironman World Championships. In 2012, Amanda has had her most successful season of racing to date, winning Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs and placing 2nd at Ironman 70.3 Kansas and Ironman UK. An excellent swimmer, Stevens will look to perfect her run and bike at the World Championships this year. Stevens is a licensed medical doctor and resides in Colorado Springs with her husband Randy.
Tom Lowe: 2012 Ironman
C. Wellington: Run Tips
C. Wellington: Bike Tips