Norfolk’s Chrissie rules out Olympic bid
Norfolk's three time world Ironman champion and world record holder Chrissie Wellington MBE is ruling out a tilt at the London 2012 Olympics.
The 33-year-old returned to her roots yesterday <mon>with a visit to the former Feltwell primary school where she was inspired to dominate her endurance sport on the global stage.
Illness robbed the former EDP sports personality-of-the-year a chance to defend her world title in Hawaii recently before returning to set a new record mark in her seasonal finale in America only last week. Wellington, however, has revealed she is not tempted to switch to the shorter triathlon event included in the London Olympics.
'It's not something I am aiming for,' she said. 'The World Championships at Kona is my Olympics. That is the pinnacle of my sport. Mine isn't represented at the Olympics - the triathlon is, but it's the short course and that is not where my talents lie.
'If it was at the Olympics I would be there with bells on but I definitely want to be there and involved in the preparations in any way I can. I would love to help out in a number of sports to help make sure the UK can put on the best Games the world has ever seen. I don't think participation is on the cards, unless I take up lawn bowls or something – and that is not taking anything away from those sports.'
Wellington is enjoying a rare chance to re-visit her roots on a flying trip to Norfolk.
'I have a wonderful life competing around the world but home is always home and Norfolk will always be my family home. I feel a deep affinity to the village,' she said. 'I came back to the school earlier this year and it felt like I had come full circle. Structurally, it hadn't changed at all but one of the people who influenced my life the most was the headmaster in my time there, and one of my teachers.
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'He was really the one who told me I could do anything I wanted to do and really encouraged me both academically and in sport. He is no longer there but to be able to relive some of the memories and give something back to the local community that has given me so much is great. My family have lived in the same house all my life and the community is vey important to us so I want to share my experiences with the children and try to inspire them.'
Wellington admitted her latest world record-breaking achievement in Arizona was a true test of mind and body after health issues ended her chances of a title defence in Hawaii.
'It made up for it quite a lot because you can't live in the past,' she said. 'I just had to focus on what I could do. I was so incredibly glad with the decision I made at Koha, as hard as it was, not to start. I had to get healthy and fit and I knew I'd be back to fight another day. I was very proud to show I could come back physically and mentally after the disappointment of not going to the World Championships. It was a big test for me and I had to combat some mental demons. To race well and break the world record and share it with my partner Tom who came third in his first race was just phenomenal.
'It was a good end to a rollercoaster season. Now it's so important to take some mental and physical time off to recharge the batteries. This time of the year I can ground myself and be with my family and friends who knew me before triathlon started and before I became a triple world champion.'