Gwen Jorgensen considered quitting triathlon in April 2014, one month before starting her unprecedented 13-race winning streak, she wrote on her website.
Jorgensen, the-two time reigning World champion and heavy favorite to become the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio, finished a disappointing 12th in the 2014 World Triathlon Series season opener in Auckland, New Zealand.
“Last year I debated quitting the sport after my race in Auckland,” Jorgensen, who had won three World Triathlon Series races in 2013, wrote in a blog posted Sunday. “I thought I didn’t belong. At the time, [coach] Jamie [Turner] and [then-fiance, now-husband] Patrick [Lemieux] told me to take a week and just think about it and reflect on what I wanted out of the sport and if I wanted to continue. It was a rough time for me; but ultimately, I decided to continue.”
After Auckland 2014, Jorgensen finished third in the following race three weeks later in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Probably the two hardest races for me to believe in myself after,” Jorgensen said in an email Monday (read her blogs after Auckland 2014 here and Cape Town 2014 here). “I wasn’t sure I had what it took to be a world class athlete.”
After Cape Town, Jorgensen won her next race, a World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, that May. And she hasn’t lost since Cape Town, racking up 13 straight victories and becoming one of the most dominant athletes in the world.
“To go undefeated a year later is encouraging,” Jorgensen, who finished 38th in her Olympic debut at London 2012, her hopes punctured by a flat tire on the bike, wrote in the blog. “And, I am relieved I decided to stay in the sport. My advice for anyone struggling with something they love: surround yourself with those who will make you better.”
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