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Sarah Groff chats with the media following her fourth-place finish at the Olympic Games. (USA Triathlon)

Best of 2012: Memorable Quotes

Take a look back at top comments from USA Triathlon elites and age-groupers in 2012


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“My goal going into this race was just to be there with 1,000 meters to go. I was. You know, I’ve got to be proud of that. Fourth is the ‘worst’ position to be in but, at the end of the day, I’m an Olympian. I get to showcase this awesome sport to millions of people. I’m really proud to be on this team. Obviously it would have been better to come home with a medal, but I’m proud of the process and proud of our team.” —  Sarah Groff after racing to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She gutted her way into medal contention on the final lap of the run and impressed many — including U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun — with her effort and determination.    

“There’s not many athletes who have done four Olympic Games. … It’s something that’s special to me and something that I’ll hold dear and take a lot of pride in.” —  Hunter Kemper after finishing as the top U.S. male (14th place) in London — his fourth consecutive Olympic Games. Kemper is the only men’s athlete to finish all four Olympic triathlon competitions.  

“Today is Mother’s Day weekend so this is the best gift I can give her — that I didn't give up on my fight, on my dream. [So she doesn't give up] on her fight with cancer. All those things have been on my mind, affecting me a little bit. Hopefully she'll be in London as well watching me from the stands.” — Manuel Huerta following his dramatic qualification for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team with a ninth-place finish at May’s ITU World Triathlon San Diego. For Huerta, who moved to the U.S. from his native Cuba at age 13, qualifying for the London Games was especially emotional and represented a way to honor his mother, who sacrificed much to help make a better life for her family in Miami.

“It’s tough when you have go up against a good friend (Sarah Haskins). I put a lot of pressure on this day. Last year in London I just had a terrible day for some reason; I’m still just not quite sure what happened. In the end it was a blessing in disguise because there were things that I changed in my training that I wouldn’t have changed if I had made the team and it has made me a better athlete. It’s hard to have the courage to change things when things are going well. So, I’m really happy.”Laura Bennett after qualifying for her second U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team at May’s ITU World Triathlon San Diego. Bennett (third) outdueled fellow Beijing Olympian Sarah Haskins (eighth) on the run to punch her ticket to London.

“After I didn’t make the Olympic Team I definitely put a big star next to this one and wanted to come out and win it. It was great to have almost a perfect race.” — Beijing Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker after winning his second USA Triathlon Elite National Championship title in the last three years in September in Buffalo, N.Y. 

“When you get off the bike, you want to put together the best run you can. I was feeling good thankfully, and I just kept moving up and ran as fast as I could.” — Olympian Gwen Jorgensen after coming off the bike more than a minute off the pace of the leaders and running her way to a runner-up finish at the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand, in October.

“This award for me is not so much honoring the accomplishments during my racing career, but the sum of all of [the Big Four’s] accomplishments together. If we were all in a race together, there was about a 99 percent chance that one of us would be the champion. And when one of us won, it was a win for all of us.” — Six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen, one of triathlon’s all-time greats, in his USA Triathlon Hall of Fame induction speech in May in San Diego. The evening was a reunion of triathlon’s “Big Four,” which also includes fellow Hall of Famers Scott Molina, Dave Scott and Scott Tinley. 

“It was awesome. To win the first relay ever at Collegiate Nationals is an amazing accomplishment for us. It was all the team. All I had to do was to not crash on the bike, not cramp on the run and that’s it.” — the University of California’s Yoni Doron-Peters after anchoring his squad to the first-ever Mixed Team Relay title at April’s USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals. The Mixed Team Relay format has grown internationally in recent years as ITU makes a push for inclusion of the event in the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I do it for the competition more than anything else. I strongly prefer the sprint distance … This one is getting more and more competitive. I think the more competitive we can make the sprint races the better. In this one, I’m seeing more and more people out here and more and more talented people. I like it.” – Patrick Parish, men’s overall winner at August’s Sprint Nationals in Burlington, Vt. It was a big year for Parish, who also won the overall national title at standard-distance Duathlon Nationals in April.  

“I knew the competition would be amazing. I knew there wouldn’t be better competition in an Olympic-distance race in the country … If I’m going to do an Olympic-distance race, I want to race the best people possible. I think I definitely found that here. There were some fast, fast ladies out there.” – Haley Chura, the women’s overall winner at 2012 Olympic-Distance Nationals in August in Burlington, Vt.

For more on USA Triathlon's Best of 2012, visit our year-in-review section.


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Best of 2012