Aug 18,2014(ISN) – TORONTO—Paula Findlay will finally have the opportunity to race in her hometown.
Triathlon Canada made it official on Monday the 25-year-old will be added to the
start list for the prestigious women’s race at the TransCanada Corp. World Triathlon
Grand Final in Edmonton, August 25 – September 1, 2014.
“I’ve watched the World Cup race in Edmonton twice from the sidelines, and it is
hard to watch because I have never had that experience to race at home so it means a
lot to me, and will be special for sure,” said Findlay. “I have a family connection
to the event with my mom who has been so involved in the planning of this race so
I’ve seen how much work it takes to putting on an event like this.
“Personally – I am starting a new chapter of my career now and to do that in my
hometown will be cool.”
Battling injuries for the last four years including a stress fracture in her pelvis
since March, the decision was made following a return to racing on Sunday in Kelowna
where the relentless redhead ran pain free to a silver medal at the PATCO Premium
“I am happy Paula will have the opportunity to represent Canada at home,” said Libby
Burrell, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “While this is an important
event for her, this will be her first Olympic distance race since March 2013 so we
view this event as the perfect opportunity for her to race in a quality field
without the weight of expectations on her shoulders”.
“Paula has a long road back to the top. She took a big step forward last weekend in
Kelowna by finishing healthy and happy. This will be another small step in her
journey to returning to being an elite athlete. Every decision we make regarding her
now is with her long term health as our primary focus”.
It has been a tumultuous ride for Findlay since her highly anticipated arrival in
Edmonton (July 2011) to compete in the World Cup as the number-one ranked triathlete
in world after having shocked the world with five World Triathlon Series victories,
and three in a row to start the 2011 season.
A hip injury, which forced her to pull out of that World Cup race, continued to nag
her in the lead up to her heartbreaking Olympic debut in 2012. A series of
additional health issues have prevented Findlay from racing for much of the last two
seasons. After making two World Cup starts earlier this spring, Findlay was forced
to the sidelines once again this time with a stress fracture in her pelvis. As a
result, much of Findlay’s training has been limited to the pool and bike. It was
only a few weeks ago that she began running again.
“It is not ideal to go into a World Championships without a big season of races
under your belt, but I got a new coach in June (Siri Lindley) and it has been the
best three months of my life following three very difficult years,” added Findlay.
“This spring I was really quite down. I lost hope and even considered giving up. But
I am in such a good place right now mentally and physically. I am so thankful to
everyone on my Integrated Support Team at Triathlon Canada that have stuck with me,
and helped me turn myself around. To be in in the mindset and physical state that
I’m in now is amazing in my eyes. And to be able to go back now and race in Edmonton
is an extra spark of motivation for me.”
Findlay can also gain inspiration the unthinkable is possible from teammate, Kirsten
Sweetland, who will lead 24 Canadian triathletes into Edmonton for the season
Once touted as Canada’s next great triathlete, Sweetland, also 25, considered
abandoning the sport several times over the last six years after dealing with a long
list of injuries herself including stress fractures, torn ligaments, allergies,
surgeries and the list goes on. The pint-sized Canuck heads into Edmonton as a
podium contender after winning her first-career bronze medal on the World Triathlon
Series in Hamburg, Germany, just days before running to the silver step of the
podium at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I have always looked up to Kirsten. She’s obviously been through a rough patch and
similar journey to me and made her way back to the top,” said Findlay. “Kirsten has
shown it is possible. It is not easy – but it is possible. She is a great friend, is
very supportive and someone I will always look up too.”
Details on Findlay and the Canadian team’s arrivals, along with media availabilities
in Edmonton, will be communicated later this week.