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ITU World Triathlon Chicago Pre-Race Quotes

Quotes from Friday's ITU World Triathlon Chicago press conference.

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Quotes from Friday’s ITU World Triathlon Chicago press conference. Read the race preview here. 

Gwen Jorgensen (United States), top-ranked athlete in ITU World Triathlon Series

On making a living in triathlon instead of accounting
“I never really thought I’d be doing this. I feel really lucky. I love this job right now. I love traveling the world and seeing places and getting to compete in a sport that I really love.”

On making sacrifices to train and race at a high level by living in Australia and Spain
“I really like to look at it as an investment. I knew that if I wanted to compete with the best in the world, I needed to make this investment. It’s hard. I left the states in December and this is the first time I’ve been back. This is the first time I’ve seen my parents since Christmas. It’s part of the job and something I’m really willing to invest in.”

Javier Gomez (Spain), ITU World Triathlon Series leader

On racing with Mario Mola
“When it comes to a race I try to beat Mario and everyone, like everyone does. But Mario is a great guy, and it’s good to see him growing up. … He also helps me when we train together. He’s very positive, very talented. He’s a really nice guy, so we have a great relationship and it’s really cool to be in a race just fighting with him and many others. So far Spain won all the World Triathlon Series men’s events, something we could have never suspected some years ago.”

On how his training has evolved
“I’ve been changing the way I’ve been training throughout the past years, and I think that was the key. … I focus more on my run. I have good athlete training mates and I’ve been training with them. I’m probably swimming less than I used to swim 10 years ago, but still keeping it at a pretty good level. You need to adjust different things with training and I feel that I am still improving, especially my run.”

Helen Jenkins (Great Britain), 2011 ITU World Triathlon Series champion

On coming back from an injury
“It’s really tough, and I think any athlete competing this weekend or at a high level — you put so much into your events. You have really bad times, but you really want to come back and have those good times again. I had a long period out with injury and I didn’t lose that desire to get back, and coming back to racing this year has been amazing. I’m just so happy to be on the start line.”

On preparing for the WTS Chicago course
“It’s a really tough course with all the corners. We’ve done a bit of preparation the last few weeks — the short acceleration, the short power work, because that’s what’s going to be really important.”

On having the support of her husband
“It’s really helpful to be able to have a partner that travels with me. We’re in this together; he coaches me, he looks after me. When we go to races, it’s really handy. We train together a lot. We spend a lot more time together than a normal married couple. But we don’t argue too much — main arguments are who’s beating who on the bike or who’s beating who in the pool. It’s small things. … It really has helped me become a better athlete having his support over the last few years.”

Rob Urbach, USA Triathlon CEO, host federation
“We’re thrilled to bring a WTS race to Chicago. The city has embraced the format and the racing. Also, we’re very excited that this is essentially a test event for the ITU Grand Final and Age Group World Championships next September. We’re very excited to be able to support racing worldwide and to certainly show some leadership throughout the world. I certainly want to thank the City of Chicago and the Chicago Sports Commission. There’s a lot that goes into putting on a race of this complexity in a downtown environment.”

On triathlon’s popularity
“Triathlon is the new golf in the boardroom, so we try to leverage that as much as possible. We broke the record for the most registrants in a first-time race, and we’re pretty proud of that.”

Vicki Lester, Columbia Management, official event partner
“Excitement seems to be the key word and the key feeling going around. We share that. On behalf of all of my colleagues at Columbia Management, we’re delighted to partner with the International Triathlon Union as the financial services sponsor of the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Chicago.”

“We’re really looking forward to an exciting weekend, and Columbia Management would like to wish all of the participants the best of luck.”