It’s fair to say that Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig fit more into her post-Olympic break period than most.
After that epic sprint where she beat Sweden’s Lisa Norden to the Olympic gold in a photo finish in Hyde Park, the London 2012 Olympic Champion married long-term partner and fellow triathlete Reto Hug. Shortly after the pair announced that they were expecting their first child.
Yannis was born in March 2013, but alongside juggling the challenges of being a first-time parent and the schedule of an Olympic gold medallist, it wasn’t long until Spirig was back on the training track.
Just seven months after the birth of Yannis, Spirig was on an ITU start line again, at the sprint distance World Cup in Cozumel in October. In that race the 31-year-old left the water 28-seconds behind a small lead group but in true Spirig-style, pulled the gap back on the bike by the end of lap two.
The last lap of the run was when Spirig sprung into action, breaking away from the USA’s Sarah Groff, Austria’s Lisa Perterer and Mexico’s Claudia Rivas with less than 2.5km to go. She crossed the line in 57 minutes and 53 seconds, five seconds ahead of Groff in her first ITU race since that history-making day at the Olympics. It seemed like she had hardly skipped a beat.
It also kept her winning streak intact, since April 2012 at the European Championships in Eilat, she hasn’t lost a race taking titles in Kitzbuehel, Madrid and London in 2012 followed by her comeback victory in Mexico.
Very happy about international my comback today in the Worldcup in Cozumel!! So great to come back with a win!— Nicola Spirig (@NicolaSpirig) October 6, 2013
Now the supermum is definitely one to watch in 2014, particularly given that there is one thing she is missing from her medal cabinet, an ITU World Championship. Spirig is already one of the most successful women in series history, with four titles wins she sits equal with Lisa Norden and just one behind five-time winners Emma Moffatt and Paula Findlay on the all-time winners list. But expect that to possibly change from the very first World Triathlon Series race of 2014 as the Auckland course seems perfectly suited to the master-cyclist’s skill set.