Kirsten Sweetland won the 2006 Triathlon Junior World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland and continued to impress during her 2007 rookie pro ITU season. We wanted to know more about this 19 year old from Nanaimo, British Columbia.
ST: You won the 2007 World Cup race in Richards Bay and finished second at the 2007 World Cup in Edmonton. That is not bad for a rookie season.
Kirsten: Haha yea not too bad! I was totally surprised... my goal was to make the start list for the Des Moines World Cup, so yea those definitely took me by surprise! It took a few World Cups to get the hang of it.
ST: Would you call your Junior World Championship title in Lausanne, Switzerland your career highlight to date?
Kirsten: Yea it is. Winning Junior Worlds in 2006 was something that I wanted for a long time, so achieving that was the greatest feeling! My other accomplishments have been more of a surprise so they weren't quite as satisfying.
ST: What is on schedule for you for 2008?
Kirsten: I am actually flying to Korea as we speak for my first race of the year. After that I will do the WC in Madrid in May, Worlds in June and possibly some American races like the Lifetime Fitness... then maybe Beijing... we'll see after Worlds! A lot less racing than 2007.
ST: What will it take for you to get a spot on the Olympic Team?
Kirsten: To qualify we have to get a top 8 at a World Cup and top 8 at Worlds in June.
ST: Can you describe what you do in a week of training?
Kirsten: It's generally 25 hours a week with 6-7 swims, 6 rides, and 5 runs.
ST: What sports did you take part when you grew up?
Kirsten: Every girly sport imaginable! Gymnastics, dance, synchro, figure skating and I've done triathlon since I was 6.
ST: Who inspired you to get involved with triathlon?
Kirsten: I don't think it was really any 1 person. I begged my parents to enter in a local triathlon when a registration form came in the mail. My dad had done triathlons before I was born so he was happy to help me out after that. So I guess if it was anyone, it would have to be my dad!
ST: What is going on for you in terms of sponsorships?
Kirsten: My title sponsors are Nike and Teck Cominc. My other sponsors include Giant Bicycles, Planet Organic Market, Shimano, Pro, Michelin, Powerbar and Orca.
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Kirsten: I like to watch gymnastics, track and field and swimming when they are on, but I don't follow anything religiously. If you were to name a famous team, I couldn't tell you if it was hockey, baseball or football! :)
ST: What is your favorite and least favorite food?
Kirsten: Favorite would have to be Licorice Allsorts and Espresso Chocolate chip muffins from a local coffee shop... I am a chocoholic! Least favorite would have to be anything spicy... I am a wimp that way!
ST: Could you share with us what the last book was you read?
Kirsten: Shopoholic and Sister :)
ST: What about music, what do you like?
Kirsten: I like a real mix but I like listening to things like Coldplay, Xavier Rudd, Ben Harper and Fiest when I am just hanging out at home.
ST: Any thoughts where you see yourself in 5 years, or should we say 10 years?
Kirsten: In 5 years, definitely still racing! In 10, I would like to be newly retired with a husband and first child!! :)
Find out more about Kirsten on her blog