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Gwen Jorgensen rues unpredictable nature of sport following WTCS Abu Dhabi cancellation

Gwen Jorgensen shares her thoughts on the cancellation of WTCS Abu Dhabi and draws strength from her experiences last year.

Staff Reporter
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After having to fight for every single start during her comeback season in 2023, WTCS Abu Dhabi was set to be the first race former Olympic Champion Gwen Jorgensen could prepare for knowing for certain that she would be on the start list.

Having spent the winter diligently preparing for what was set to be a crucial race in the battle for a spot on the US Olympic Team, things came crashing down last Friday when extreme weather forced the cancellation of the event.

Admitting that her return to the sport has been far from straightforward, Jorgensen shared her reflections on the race that never was and highlighted the unpredictable nature of the sport.

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“This triathlon comeback has tested my love for planning”

With the race for a spot on the WTCS Olympic distance start lists in Yokohama and Cagliari hotly contested between a number of American women, gaining points in Abu Dhabi would go a long way in solidifying Jorgensen’s spot as one of the top ranked US athletes.

World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki 2023 Gwen Jorgensen
Photo Credit: World Triathlon

Now, however, with no top tier events until May, the former world champion has been forced to upend her plans and reassess her situation. Fortunately, she says last season prepared her well for a situation like this.

“This triathlon comeback has tested my love for planning. Last year I came to terms with not knowing when or where I was racing which gave me ample experience to properly pivot when this year the first WTCS of the season was canceled.

“What a sad day for the sport when we weren’t given the opportunity to reschedule the event. The government mandated no outdoor activities and we would have been arrested if the event took place.”

“Sport is never predictable”

For a number of athletes on the start list for Abu Dhabi, making the trip to the Middle East incurred a heavy financial costs, not to mention the inconvenience of travel and tapering for a race that didn’t take place.

Gwen Jorgensen reflective World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer 2023
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

For Jorgensen, this was no different, with the Wisconsinite detailing how the fickle nature of sport can overturn even the best laid plans.

“All the athletes headed home with jet lag and lost time, money, and opportunities. Sport is never predictable. The unknown is why we love to watch.

“Our guesses and beliefs are tested live in front of whoever chooses to follow. The cancellation of Abu Dhabi is just another way sport is unpredictable.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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