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photo: Competitive Image
Olympic Blog: Gwen Jorgensen
Gwen Jorgensen is a first-time member of the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team. She qualified for the Games in London in August 2011 just a year and a half after her first competitive triathlon. Throughout the course of the Olympic Games, you'll hear from the staff and athletes of the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team here at usatriathlon.org.
GUILDFORD, Surrey — I really believe that when you qualify for the Olympics, it’s not just one person who makes it. You have this entire support crew behind you that has gotten you there. I’ve been really blessed with the support I have from family, friends, sponsors and coaches.
My parents have been there since I was 8 years old driving me every morning to swim practices, getting up really early, picking me up after school and staying at swim meets all weekend long in the stands. It’s been huge to have that support. They never thought that I would be going to the Olympics, but they were always there for me in whatever I was doing, whether it was swimming, violin or school. Having that support has been tremendous for me.
I’ve also had friends and coaches that have always been there for me and encouraged me. Without their support and guidance I definitely wouldn’t know what I was doing. I have people there to calm me down when I get stressed out or help me to get riled up when it’s race day.
This past year I’ve taken some time off from work and I’ve only been able to do that through the help of sponsors who have helped me financially. That’s been a huge blessing to be able to focus on my athletics and recovery, which has allowed me to maximize my potential.
Even though I qualified a year out from the Olympics, I don’t think it sunk in until I got to the Olympic Village. You see everything they’ve done for the athletes, and it’s just incredible.
You get to the village and it’s full of athletes who are really friendly with super excited attitudes. The Olympic Rings are everywhere and just taking that in was a surreal moment still. It’s such an honor to be able to represent the United States, and to have that emotion finally sink in was incredible.