COMMENTARY | Someone should tell Simon Whitfield that it's OK to retire.
He added: "Maybe I just haven't come to terms with the idea of saying fully retired so I'm saying semi. There's a sport psychologist somewhere saying 'I can help him with that.'"
If there's anyone in the triathlon world who's had a full career, it's Whitfield. The Kingston, Ont., native won the first ever Olympic triathlon at the 2000 Olympic Games. He went on to compete in every Olympic triathlon since, winning silver in 2008.
Only one other male triathlete -- American Hunter Kemper -- has competed in every Olympic triathlon.
For Whitfield, retirement would represent a huge lifestyle shift. After all, he's been on the Canadian national team for 20 years, and he won 10 Canadian national championships in a row.
But Whitfield says he ready to move on, he thinks, though he might not be quite ready to say it out loud. Since the Olympic Games, where he withdrew after breaking his collarbone in a bike crash, Whitfield has spent more time with his family, he told thestar.com. He has two daughters, Pippa and Evelyn.
If Whitfield wants to do so, he should be able to spend more time with his family without any kind of guilt or regrets. He's spent more years of his life on the national team than not, and he's certainly put in his time representing his country internationally.
But that doesn't mean triathlon fans won't miss the gritty competitor. His performance in winning his gold medal was perhaps one of the most exciting in Olympic history, as Whitfield was involved in a bike crash early on. After working his way back to the lead pack, Whitfield kicked it in at the end to take the lead and win in a time of 1:48.24.02, which was the Olympic record until 2012.
Though we may not see Whitfield compete much more, fans do have at least one last chance to see him swim, bike and run to the finish line. Whitfield says he plans to compete at the Toronto Triathlon Festival on July 21.
Sandra Johnson has covered three Olympic Games, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
- Sports & Recreation
- Athletics, Track & Field