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5 Politicians who tri

Mixing politics and triathlon training and racing

Photo by: sinema.senate.gov

As the world can’t stop watching the 2020 American election right now, we figured we’d check out some politicians who have managed to balance their public life with multisport racing over the years.

Sadly, while there are a number of Canadian politicians who we know who have competed in running events – Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne, Peter Fonseca, Valerie Plante – we couldn’t find any Canadian politicians who have added a swim and a bike to their race day.

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Kyrsten Sinema

In 2013 the Arizona senator became the first sitting member of Congress to complete an Ironman in their own district, teaching herself to swim in a year and finishing Ironman Arizona in 15:12:34. A couple of years later she shaved 10 minutes off her time in finishing the Ironman World Championship. In 2019 she somehow managed to balance her busy political life with two big PBs – she broke 13 hours at Ironman New Zealand, then went under the 12-hour barrier (11:54:09) at Ironman Arizona last November.

Sinema was one of the founding board members for Ironman’s Women For Tri initiative. She’s also done well as a runner – she’s a Boston Marathon qualifier and ran 1:39:40 at the Rock ‘n Roll Arizona half-marathon in January.

Earlier this year she was interviewed during Ironman’s coverage of its first Virtual Reality race.

Tony Abbott

The former Australian Prime Minister was the Opposition Leader when he finished Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie in 2010. He finished the race in just under 14 hours.

Adam Schiff

Many know him as one of the most visible faces during the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump – Shiff is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. What most of us multisport fans probably don’t know is that the Californian congressman is a triathlete. According to good.is “he was the only member of Congress to compete in 2010’s inaugural Nation’s Triathlon around the National Mall.”

“I work out at my local gym in Burbank, and it’s rare for me to go to the gym without being engaged by constituents as I’m working out,” he told Good. “It’s a nice way for me to stay in contact with people that’s not the same as having office hours, where it’s a much more formal setting. I think people appreciate seeing their representative working out in their gym and the accessibility of their representative. There’s kind of a workout culture and people like to know you’re part of it. I do think it helps me connect with constituents.”

Related: 11 most influential women in triathlon

Erin Baker

Inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2018 along with husband Scott Molina, Baker was a two-time winner in Kona. She was also the first ever ITU world champion, taking the title in Avignon in 1989. Arrested during a protest against South Africa’s rugby team competing in her home country of New Zealand, Baker was barred from competing in the United States during the early years of her career. Outspoken on behalf of equal prize money for women in the sport, it came as no surprise to any who knew her that she would eventually become a politician in New Zealand – she served as councillor on Christchurch city in the early 2000s.

Nancy Kemp-Arendt

An Olympian as a swimmer (1988) and as a triathlete (2000). At the inaugural Olympic triathlon in Sydney she finished 10th. The Luxembourg politician began her political career in 1993. She sat in the national legislature from 1996 to 1999, and the returned once again in 2003 and remains in the Chamber. She has been named Luxembourg’s Sportswoman of the Year six times and is the only athlete to have earned that award in two different sports.