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What Age Group Athletes Love About Competing for Team USA

by Sammy Berryman

u.s. age group athletes wearing red, white and blue walk in a parade

Athletes on Team USA share what they love about representing the Red, White and Blue at World Championships.

“There’s nothing like competing wearing the Stars and Stripes. Seeing and hearing the stories from other Team USA teammates is so motivating.” 
— Robert Patterson, M50-54  
“It’s indescribable the feeling you get when you are lucky enough to represent your country in a sport that you love.”
— Cherilyn Suiter, F55-59
“I really love the support that I’ve received from the people who work behind the scenes at USA Triathlon. They have been awesome at answering all my questions and getting me everything I need to be ready to compete for Team USA. The community has also been awesome. I’m making a lot of new friends that I can't wait to meet in Ibiza.”
— Nick Jasmer, M30-34
“If representing wasn't enough, it’s the pinnacle of age group competition. It’s also the opportunity to be in the company and community of some pretty amazing people who all have very interesting lives and stories to tell.”
— Andrew Rohrbacher, M60-64

“Representing my country!”
— John Kretschmann, M25-29

“The camaraderie, physical challenge, [the ability to] stay in shape and the ability to travel.”
Dave Carfagno, M55-59

“It may sound a little corny, but I get a patriotic lump in my throat every time I see my red-white-and-blue, stars-and-stripes race uniform with my name in big letters over that big USA. It’s a thrill and an honor to represent the United States of America at an international athletic competition. It may not be the Olympics, and we may not be the "elite" athletes, but I am going to give it my best shot, my best sportsmanship, and compete as hard as I can for Team USA.”
— Dave Mandelkern, M60-64 

“I like the accessibility and inclusivity this system of triathlon offers. It feels like everyone can compete, no matter who they are or what their situation may be. The para-athlete opportunities seem developed and on equal footing. It's also relatively affordable, and the races I have done to qualify have not been so overloaded with competitors like some other races can be. In addition, Team USA recognizes Clydesdale and Athena athletes, which I think is an important aspect that deserves a lot of credit.”
— Steve Maas, M45-49