TRI247
Search
shop
WIN a Zoggs wetsuit and goggles!
ENTER NOW

United States

Taylor

Knibb

The American has announced herself on the world stage as a potential star of the future and an Olympic gold medal contender.

HEIGHT

5'7"
170
cm

Birthplace

USA
Washington DC

Age

26
14 February 1998
Taylor Knibb

Taylor Knibb

profile

At just 23 years-of-age, Taylor Knibb made US Olympic history when she became the youngest woman ever to qualify for its triathlon team ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The Washington D.C. native had been picked by the selectors after a stunning win at the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) 2021 season opener in Yokohama, Japan. She would then leave her maiden Olympic Games with a silver medal from the Mixed Relay.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Taylor was part of the Origin Performance Squad, which includes US national team members Matt McElroy and Gillian Cridge, and she was coached by Ian O’Brien and Erin Carson. In 2023, Knibb switched to be coached by Dan Lorang, who also leads the programme’s of world class athletes such as Anne Haug and Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Taylor moved to the Mountain West after studying psychology at Ivy League school Cornell – graduating in 2020. Whilst at Cornell, Taylor, who had raced in cross country events since her second year at Sidwell Friends School, represented the university’s cross country team as well as its track and field, diving and swimming teams.

Despite participating in so many different sports at university, Taylor has credited her Cornell coaches Artie Smith and Mike Henderson for allowing her to prioritise triathlon training during her time in New York. Taylor believes Smith’s training schedule, which involved no tempo or long runs, improved her performance so much that she entered the triathlon national championships as a junior.

Known for her bike strength, Taylor produced a cycling masterclass in August 2021 during the World Triathlon Championships Finals in Edmonton where she finished first, beating Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Flora Duffy and fellow USA athlete Katie Zaferes. She rode more than two-and-a-half minutes quicker than the entire field – seeing off Duffy who had tried to bridge back.

Career record and results

After taking part in a kids’ triathlon when she was 11, Taylor kickstarted her triathlon career and was competing on the USA’s triathlon youth and junior elite circuit when she was 15.

As a junior, she won an impressive number of accolades: 2015 ITU Junior World Championships silver medallist; 2016 and 2017 ITU Junior World Champion and 2018 ITU U23s World Champion. She is one of only three women to capture world titles at junior and U23 level. Taylor’s first podium in an ITU World Triathlon Series event came in 2017, when she finished second in Edmonton.

At the inaugural Collins Cup in August 2021, Taylor won her race for Team USA when she destroyed modern-day great Daniela Ryf – finishing more than 16 minutes clear of the Swiss triathlete and 23 minutes clear of third-placed Teresa Adam. It was a stunning individual performance from Taylor as she repaid the faith shown in her by team captains Karen Smyers and Mark Allen.

Just seven days after winning Olympic silver in Tokyo, Taylor had also finished second to Emma Pallant-Browne on her IRONMAN 70.3 debut in the familiar surroundings of Boulder. She had led out of the water and then on the bike, but eventually succumbed to Pallant-Browne on the run – finishing with a time of 4:02:20. It was that Boulder effort which earned her a wild card selection for The Collins Cup.

Taylor then followed this up with a highly creditable bronze behind Lucy Charles-Barclay at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah in September 2021.

Just over 12 months on and the World Championship returned to St George, where Knibb delivered a masterclass performance. Taking control early on the bike, she built herself a lead on two wheels of approaching seven minutes – and still had more than five of those to spare, when she broke the tape to claim the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title.

In 2023, Knibb continued to underline her incredible versatility in the sport, finishing fifth at the Paris Test Event to secure qualification to her second Olympic Games in 2024 whilst tearing up the middle distance triathlon world.

After winning IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder in June, the American took the PTO Tour US Open title on home soil prior to her fifth place finish in Paris, before defending her IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title in Finland the days later.

Perhaps most remarkably of all, Knibb then went on to finish fourth at the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii on her debut over the distance, and at the end of the year was confirmed as one of the athlete’s on the 2024 T100 Triathlon World Tour.

Starting the Olympic year as she means to go on, Knibb destroyed the field to win IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, before finishing second at WTCS Yokohama. She then finished 11th at WTCS Cagliari, before heading back over to the West Coast and putting on a clinic to win the San Francisco T100.

Taylor Knibb at the Olympics

In her first event at the Tokyo Olympics, Taylor finished a respectable 16th in the women’s Individual race, but was well behind the brilliant gold medallist Flora Duffy.

Just a few days later though there was much better to come as Knibb raced in leg three for Team USA in the first ever Olympic Games Mixed Team Relay event. She succeeded team-mate Kevin McDowell, who had finished second in leg two behind Great Britain’s Jonny Brownlee. Taylor then pursued Team GB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown in first and saw off challenges from France’s Cassandre Beaugrand in third place whilst on the bike. Taylor finished the leg in second, 21 seconds behind Taylor-Brown, before handing over to Morgan Pearson for the final leg.

In August 2023, Knibb secured her place on her second Olympic team, finishing fifth at the Paris Test Event. In the French capital this summer, the Boulder based pro will be amongst the favourites to medal in both the individual and mixed team relay events.

Taylor Knibb and family

Taylor was inspired to become a triathlete after watching her mother Leslie compete in an IRONMAN race, before racing in her own first ever triathlon in Columbia, Maryland at 11 years old. Taylor’s other role models include 2013 junior world champion Tamara Gorman and Rio 2016 gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen, who sent Taylor a pair of sunglasses after her first world junior championships win in 2016.

An experienced triathlete, Leslie Knibb finished fourth in the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final (55-59 female) in Lausanne with a time of 2:40:28. Like Taylor, Leslie studied at Cornell, as did Taylor’s maternal grandparents Joseph and Vera, two cousins Caroline and Peter Simon and three uncles, Ernie, Joseph and Wally Simon.

1235 Next
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
WIN A ZOGGS HYPEX PRO WETSUIT
ENTER NOW