Sister Madonna Buder, also known as the “Iron nun”, has become one of triathlon’s most famous characters over time. She’s become even more well-known now, thanks to her Nike ad that aired during the Olympics and has gone viral online.
The 86-year-old long distance triathlete has completed numerous full distance races and “inspired millions” throughout her triathlon career. Now, she’s got her own ad with one of the biggest sporting brands in the world… and it’s been viewed well over a million times online.
In an interview with a news source in her local Spokane, Washington, Buder said that she’s received tons of positive fan feedback for the commercial but doesn’t understand why anyone finds her inspiring.
“I’m still mystified by it,” Buder said. “Why I could be the pick of the apples, I don’t know.”
“The only thing I succeed at is getting older, but anybody can do that, so I don’t see what the big deal is,” she continued.
Buder is done with full distance racing for now, but continues to train as a triathlete and plans to complete some short distance races in the future. She was inducted into the USAT’s Hall of Fame in 2014.