Lauren Steadman finished third in Pontevedra on Saturday, but she still came away a winner.
The British Paralympic gold medallist from Tokyo says she is now rekindling her love for the sport after a period where she doubted whether she could even continue to swim, bike and run. Spain over the weekend appears to have been a major landmark in that journey.
Last month Lauren was hugely disappointed to be overlooked for a slot in the Paris Test Event, revealing that she was “devastated” to miss out.
She had very different feelings after Pontevedra, following that third-place finish behind American Grace Norman and fellow British star Claire Cashmore at the World Triathlon Para Championships.
Steadman and a ‘genuine happy heart’
Writing on Instagram, she revealed: “Yesterday was not about winning for me but about stepping forward and being present with a genuine happy heart 🤍
“This year, I have not been training for triathlon, but filling my heart with learning to love sport again 🚴🏻♀️🏊🏻♀️🏋🏻♀️
“I was given freedom to be myself, and therefore to finish 3rd in the world, filled me with pride, self-love and confidence 🥉
“It has been a hard year, I lost my love and fun for triathlon, and at moments I wasn’t sure if I could continue to do the sport that has given me so much.
“With understanding, kindness, and guidance, I have navigated this season surrounded by friends, family, and coaches 🏼I am feeling more like myself, and most importantly happy and energised to continue the battle onto Paris 2024 🇫🇷”
All roads lead to Paris
That Paris goal of course is now very much priority number one for Steadman, and she is now homing in on qualification for the big dance in the French capital next summer.
“Very shortly I am due to begin training specifically for triathlon, alongside my coach @robin.a.brew and we have one more qualification criteria to hit this season to secure Paris qualification, this will be a race in Malaga in 4 weeks 🇪🇸👊🏼”