People Who Kick Buts: Simon Whitfield
Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.
- Born May 16, 1975 in Kingston, Ontario. Whitfield lives in Victoria, British Columbia and maintains a second residence on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
- Whitfield has won 10 consecutive Canadian Triathlon Championships titles.
- Whitfield carried the Canadian national flag during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London.
- As a young boy he played soccer but at age 11 began triathlon, honing his early competitive skills in the Canadian Kids of Steel program. By age 15 he was pursuing triathlon on a serious competitive basis.
- He is currently coached by Olympic marathoner Jon Brown.
- Whitfield won a gold medal in the triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He got up off the ground after he and 14 other riders crashed in the bike race portion of the event and worked his way back near the leaders. In the foot race, he cut down the field one at a time then put on a finishing kick to take the victory. His final time was 1:48:24.02, which until 2012 stood as the fastest Olympic triathlon.
- In the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England he claimed gold again. He ended up in 11th place at the 2004 Summer Olympics with a time of 1:53:15.81.
- Whitfield was named to the 2008 Summer Olympics team and won a silver medal while competing at his third consecutive games.
- Whitfield has qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in Triathlon. He was also chosen to be Canada’s Opening Ceremonies flag bearer.
- Underneath the grandstands in majestic Hyde Park on Tuesday, a Canadian family hugged and kissed and cried and cried. An hour or so earlier, Whitfield’s Olympic swan song in the triathlon had ended abruptly after a freak cycling crash. And now, even the loving embrace of his wife, Jennie, brought Whitfield pain — a cringe-worthy jolt that shuddered through his aching left collarbone.
Whitfield, 37, smiled as he recounted the scene.
“(Jennie) said, ‘But you can still drink beer with your right hand, right?’” Whitfield said. “We had a good laugh at that.”