So can triathlon ever shed that label of...

Jack of all Trades, master of None?

1 to 20 of 41 messages
VTd    pirate
23/07/2012 at 20:51

Christ KK, how many questions are in there?

Not Olympic champion for me, although I'd love to have had the height, physique and all round power of a top rower.

No, my recurring dream, when I was capable, was pulling on the green shirt of the Irish Rugby team.  I played to a very reasonable level, but no more than very reasonable, and the buzz I got from those dreams was as close as I ever got.

God, how many years ago was that?

As regards Jack of all trades, I would take being jack of one of them.  Seriously, I think a top triathlete has to reach a compromise between them.  Trade offs that a single discipline athlete could never reach in the other two.

Just my thoughts.....

Edited: 23/07/2012 at 20:53
23/07/2012 at 21:29

I've never had that view of multi discipline sports, to be able to compete at such a high level they have so much training to fit in that you could argue that they're the better athlete.  I've always had great respect for decathletes who do so many things

Where do you draw the line of multi discipline?  Swimmers who do Medley, athletics doing more than one distance, tennis players who do singles and doubles, gymnastics - they all require different skills and effort. None of them are any the less brilliant than someone who just does one.


JPenno    pirate
23/07/2012 at 21:52
Triathlon and the view that its a jack of all trades hasn't been helped by Lance Armstrongs success after returning to the sport, an older retired cyclist returns and dominates the events he raced before being suspended

British athletics isn't in too strong a position as our best female hurdler is actually our heptathlete!!

If I was to be Olympic champion it would have to be Boxing or 100 metres
24/07/2012 at 06:47

When I was at school our sports days used to consist of the usual egg and spoon and three-legged races, throwing bean bags and such like. However, the sixth form used to get to do proper athletics, 100m, 400m and stuff like that. I couldn't wait to get into the sixth form to start doing races like that because at the time I thought I'd be able to give a reasonable showing. Of course by the time I got to sixth form they stopped doing them.
At the time if you'd have asked me what I'd have liked to do in the Olympics it would have been something like the 800 or 1500 metres. Not too short that I'd not have the speed needed but also not to far that I'd not have the endurance.

Now I'd probably go for something requiring more endurance in swimming, open water olympic champ maybe.

Iron Muffin    pirate
24/07/2012 at 08:07

KK you are ion the same Page as Steve Ovett. I was reminded of one of his famous quotes yesterday;

Something like:

Decathlon is 9 Mickey mouse events and then a slow 1500m.

24/07/2012 at 10:32

I think if you are asking who is the better 100m runner, then obviously its the dedicated 100m runner. These guys are finely tuned to do one specific event. Personally I think that the better all around athlete is the guy doing the decathlon. My uncle was very good at it so maybe i'm biased! In terms of publicity though, the majority, including myself, will want to know who is the fastest / strongest in a particular event.

Any opinion on why elite swimmers can go and enter different strokes over different distances but runners are generally specialists in one event? I'd compare it to a sprinter doing the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, and hurdles.. I guess Bolt could probably enter all and be close to favourite in all.

24/07/2012 at 10:59
kittenkat wrote (see)
. being an Olympic champion in tennis or football doesn't really hold huge  court (scuse the pun).


but isn't that because they get saturation coverage and have their own various championships (tennis and it's 4x Grand Slams etc)?  the Olympics for these sports and some of the others (e.g. basketball) isn't seen as the pinnacle of achievement whereas something like a World Cup or NBC win is.

for the less high profile sports, the Olympics gives the sport a showcase to the world which it would rarely get otherwise.   so for athletes inTaekwondo say, they get amazing exposure and then go back to one liners in the press for the next 4 years.

everyone would, and should have, their own opinion of what they view as the OIympic Blue Riband event.   I don't have one as I like a lot of different sports and sadly my (former) main sport, rugby, doesn't figure yet on the Oly calendar.


JPenno    pirate
24/07/2012 at 11:08

FB - the Sevens should be Part of the Olympics, fantastic entertainment and would bring it to a much wider audience

24/07/2012 at 11:15

it's there for the next Games JP - 7's for male and female teams.  although playing 7's on the heat of Rio won't favour the Northern hemisphere teams!!

VTd    pirate
24/07/2012 at 11:51

I absolutely loved sevens, my all time favourite.  I've had my fingers crushed, my wrist ligaments wrecked, my ankles and toes stood on, and my nose broke (x2) operating behind the big boys in 15's. 

But sevens was my leveller, apart from my last game were I lost all my front teeth lol.

Edited: 24/07/2012 at 11:51
24/07/2012 at 11:53

as a front rower, I wasn't really suited to 7s.... 

although we did enter one 7s tournament ( a pub 7s) with a team of 7 props - we just used to hold onto the ball and rumble down the field!!!

VTd    pirate
24/07/2012 at 12:00

Big ugly forwards should be banned from playing the pretty game .

24/07/2012 at 12:04

and you bleeding jessies in the backs should be crippled before walking onto the park....

citizen 146    pirate
25/07/2012 at 03:26

I've grown up watching the olympics, listening to Coe and Ovett battle it out in Moscow, Nancy Hogshead and Karen Steinsiffer get a dead heat in the Pool in LA, and last week watched the young rider from Francais de jour grind out  a tour stage victory whilst his manager banged on the side of the car and damm nearly got on the bike with him. For me it's not about the medal or the sport but the Passion . I will be spending the next few weeks watching every event I can ( much of it on the night shift) looking for that fantastic shiver you get seeing athletes in whatever sport really laying it on the line. Its great to see all the lesser known sports getting their 15 minutes of fame and for every one you can see the dedication and passion etched in the athlete's faces, am going down to London to see 2 random events on my day off, weightlifting and archery, I know nothing about either at the moment....

citizen 146    pirate
25/07/2012 at 03:31

oh , and to answer your question , bike time trial , gold silver or bronze, I don't even have tt bars on my bike I just think time -trialling is so honest , contre le montre, maybe thats why I like triathlon .

Wouldn't want to win the triathlon as don't like the olmypic format of drafting on the bike !

25/07/2012 at 09:52

Going back to the original question, I would say that there is a general shift occuring. Whilst 10 years ago people tended to come to triathlon after specialising in one or two of the sports, there are more juniors coming through who have started as triathlete specialists, albeit those who are children of triathletes. Sky Draper is a good example of this - she has been a "specialist triathlete" from the start, rather than coming from a background in one of the individual sports.

25/07/2012 at 12:36

I'm not from a running or athletics background at all. The nearest I got to competition was World of Warcraft, Call of Duty and Tekken I am probably more representative of the viewing public than most of you. TV makes a massive impression and I'm not talking about sporting event coverage. I'm talking about things like 'A league of their own'. Mere mortals like me see Phillips Idowu, Mo Farah and others on there and we take more of an interest in their activities on the track and field.

I don't think that the viewing plug think that triathletes are a jack of all trades and master of none. I don't think joe blogs thinks that much about it. I honestly think they just think about who they saw on tv last.

Edited: 25/07/2012 at 12:40
WildWill    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:31
I didn't come to triathlon from any other sports ... I took up triathlon ... I am a triathlete ... It is my sport.

And as far as others seeing it as jack of all ... I think, in my experience, that most people actually see us as ultra endurance nutters. ... You have to remember most the UKs population don't even get off their arse unless it's to go to the car
WildWill    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:48
For me most of my work mates I was considered an endurance nutter when I only did sprints. ... so same statement... When I stared doing triathlon .. Most people haven't even heard of it.

Even on RW if you dig out some of the early daily training threads... You will see see comments of this ilk
WildWill    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:58
She's improving ... 8week check went will ... Now a slow build up and not off the leader for at least another 3 month

But will be taking her to IMCH next year
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