This ITU specialist didn‚Äôt have the race she wanted when she took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.¬† With her home country hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics, London England, this triathlete will be giving it her all to get back where she belongs. Going for Gold! Please welcome: Hollie Avil
KK: Hollie,¬†why don't you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up?
HA: In Northampton, a town in the middle of England.
KK: What kind of athletics did participate in before starting triathlon?
HA: I was a swimmer and competed at national level. I also ran fro my school at competed at national school cross country
KK: What is your academic background?
HA: I have 11 GCSEs (you do these when you are 16 years old) and A Levels in Philosophy and Ethics, Physical Education and English. I am now doing a degree in Business Studies at Loughborough University.
KK: Other than racing do you have a full time job?
HA: I'm in full time study! I'm doing a degree in Business at Loughborough University
KK: When did you get started doing triathlon?
HA: I started training for triathlon in the summer of 2005.
KK: Where did you do your first triathlon?
HA: I did my first triathlon in my home town, Northampton, in September 2005.
KK: What kind of race gear did you use at your first race?
HA: All I remember is I had a very very heavy bike!!
KK: What did your family and friends think of you being a professional triathlete?
HA: My family are amazing - they have supported me through everything. My friends and family find my lifestyle exciting!
KK: Tell us about your 2008 Olympic experience.
HA: The Saturday, Sunday and Monday around my race at the Games were a pretty tough few days! I arrived in Beijing really raring to go and race on Monday. It was my worst nightmare when I fell ill on Saturday evening, continuously vomiting. The Team GB Doctor was fabulous and did everything he could to try and help me recover as quickly as possible, it was pretty hard to identify where my illness came from though and left us with a real guessing game. I did my best to stay positive and was determined to get on that start line on Monday morning and give the race my best shot! I said to Mum- 'I don't care if someone has to push off the pontoon swim start - I'm starting that race!' Having my family out here really helped. They stuck by me like extra strong super glue, stayed positive and did everything they could to help me recover.
HA: But apart from the nightmare few days, I had a fantastic time in Beijing and will remember the experience forever. I also believe the experience is invaluable in regards to preparation for the London 2012 Games.
KK: Do you train differently for an event like the Olympics?
HA: I did a lot of heat preparation work. Training in the heat chamber in Loughborough and doing heat camps abroad.
KK: Did you feel more pressure when you racing in the Olympics vs. an ITU race?
HA: Not really - it was the same bunch of athletes and we all know each other, so it felt like any other race.
KK: What are some of your racing accomplishments?
European Junior Champion
World Junior Champion
4th English Schools National Cross County
4th Junior Womens Inter County and World Cross Country Trials
3rd Ishigaki World Cup
2nd Tongyeong World Cup
4th Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup
11th HyVee Triathlon World Cup
1st French Grand Prix Triathlon, Beauvais
1st Corus Elite Series/British National Championships, Bryn Bach, Wales
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† DNF (Due to illness)
Madrid World Championship Series¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† DNF (mechanical)
4th U20 Womens 5000m National Championship and U20 European Trail¬†¬† 16.25
6th Senior European Champs
12th Kitzbuhel World Championships Series
KK: Who coaches you?
HA: Ben Bright
KK: With the next round of Olympic being held in London 2012, how do you stay motivated between now and then?
HA: I don't think I will have trouble staying motivated for London. I think it will be fantastic Games and can't wait to dig in and work hard for the next few years leading into it.
KK: What has been your favourite race?
HA: I think Ishigaki World Cup is my favourite. I loved the island, it was my first Olympic Distance, my first World Cup, my first podium and it was the day after my 18th birthday!
KK: Where do you spend most of your time training?
HA: Mainly in Loughborough - it's a fantastic place to train. I also love training in Spain or in Switzerland.
KK: Does England have a large triathlon community?
HA: I think it's growing by the day!
KK: What are some of your long term goals with the sport?
HA: To become a faster, stronger and smarter athlete. Also, to achieve a Gold medal at an Olympic Games is my ultimate goal¬†.
KK: How are you sponsored by?
Pre Race Food: Porridge with honey and banana
Music: The Killers
Race: Ishigaki Triathlon
Race Wheels: Zipp 202
Fresh or Salt water swim: Fresh
Running Shoe: Adidas
Vacation Spot: Perth, Australia