Jan Frodeno, Olympic gold medallist and three-time winner of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, has shown that COVID-19 cannot stop all sport if you are creative and determined enough.
Laureus Ambassador Frodeno found an imaginative way to complete a sporting challenge amid COVID-19 restrictions and raise over €200,000 for healthcare institutions in Girona and Laureus Sport for Good.
Now in lockdown in Girona, he completed the Ironman distance ‘At Home’ – in a remarkable time of 8hrs 33mins and 39secs.
That’s 3.8 km in his counter-current swimming pool, 180 km cycling on his roller trainer, and running a 42.2km marathon on his treadmill.
Jan said: “That was certainly different and great fun. I’m really pleased we were able to make this happen, and to raise money for such good and important causes. We’ve been subject to lockdown for almost four weeks now and there is strict monitoring of compliance with these rules, and rightly so.
“The situation here is really dire. That’s why I’ve been training at home. However, when I see what the people here in the hospitals are doing for us, this small sacrifice is one I wholeheartedly make.”
Frodeno was planning to compete at the Challenge Roth in Bavaria, but it was called off because of the pandemic.
He said: “In the beginning it was actually just a crazy idea, with me thinking: ‘If I can’t do my race, I’ll just do it at home.’ Then we thought more about how and why we should actually do this. I just wanted to attract attention in order to raise money.
“A portion of the donations will help Laureus Sport for Good in building a project to help young people in my home city, Girona. My sponsor Mercedes-Benz is a Global Partner of this charity and I have been involved in it as an Ambassador for many years.
“Laureus is a wonderful organisation that supports around 200 programmes around the world which use the power of sport to help young people. A lot of this work has had to stop, or has to take place remotely now because of COVID-19. For these young people, many of them disadvantaged, this is a double disaster.
“The rest of the donations will be given to local healthcare institutions here in Girona. I have so much respect and regard for the doctors, nurses and helpers here who are risking themselves to beat this terrible thing.”
Fans around the world tuned in to a live stream of Jan’s #TriatHome Challenge. Throughout the day, he was joined on the stream by a number of the world’s greatest sporting legends, including Laureus Academy members Boris Becker, Fabian Cancellara, Mike Horn and Chris Hoy.
For anyone wishing to support Jan’s initiative, the donation page is http://www.viprize.org/frodeno.