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Skye Moench and Sarah True on social media, influencers and expectations in triathlon

Skye Moench and Sarah True on the expectations on female professionals in triathlon.

Staff Reporter
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Redefining triathlon

Speaking to TRI247 in a recent interview, American long course professionals Skye Moench and Sarah True addressed the infrequently talked about factor of a professional triathletes life, social media.

With the pressure to be not just an athlete but also an influencer greater than ever before, True points out how the changing social media landscape is an increasingly difficult space to navigate for women.

She underlines the importance of making it clear that being an athlete is about training and racing, not about looking ready to walk down a runway or go out to a cocktail party.

“We live in a day and age where we can’t just be athletes”

Explaining the pressure of social media, True believes that the current landscape leaves women at a disadvantage compared to their male counterparts.

Skye Moench of the United States of America, Sarah True of the United States of America and Agnieszka Jerzyk of Poland pose for a picture during the flower ceremony of the IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt on July 02, 2023 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“We live in the day and age where we can’t just be athletes, we also have to be influencers and when you start talking about what it means to be a female influencer versus a male influencer, that’s a whole other discussion and that’s what we are treading in.

“The social media landscape has changed a lot, some athletes know how to use the system and for them it’s been great, but overall it’s harder for women to navigate that space than men.” 

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“We are not here to walk down a runway”

On the topic of the expectation to always look camera ready, Moench says that it just isn’t realistic, highlighting that athletes should be valued for their performances, not their looks.

“We were talking about the attractive element of women in sport and here we are, I was just going for a run and I’m going for a swim in an hour, I’m not going to put makeup on and I’m not going to straighten my hair.

“What am I supposed to look like? It’s just not practical to constantly look like I’m ready for a cocktail party, it’s just not going to happen. I believe we are all beautiful women and we can all look nice when we want to, but the reality is we are athletes, we’re not here to walk down a runway everyday.” 

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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