Aug 15, 1979
Triathlon (Olympic Distance)
Gold Coast, Australia
Courtney Atkinson is one of Australia’s most recognisable names in sport and has an impressive medal haul to boot after winning more triathlon titles than most in his sport. He is a definite medal contender for the 2012 London Olympics and hopes to make winning there his ultimate achievement.
Most recently in 2010 he notched up a hat-trick with his third consecutive Noosa Triathlon title in Australia and also won the prestigious Challenger World London Triathlon.
One of triathlon’s finest runners. He’s also one of its best cyclists. One of its greatest swimmers. He’s been a professional triathlete since before he left school. He’s a straightforward, no nonsense, likeable Queenslander, and he’s all of those things for incredible stretches of time under remarkable duress, until, (and then after) the bit where he beats the field home and finally has a rest.eHe’s a
Resting doesn’t come easily to Atkinson; he trains hard six days a week, then trains again on his day off. And on his holidays.
“I see what we do as a performance sport. Triathlon is a whole different ball game to anything else,” he says. “We’re not trying to swim as quick as we can. We’re not trying to win the Tour de France, and we’re not trying to be the world 10km track champions. We are doing this multi-sport thing which, although we’re at the Olympics and we do that, it’s still that kind of extremesport. That extreme endurance-type sport.
“You can get the best runner in the world and he’s not going to be able to come and outrun one of the Olympic triathletes off the bike, because we train specifically to do that. And the thing is, these days we’ve got to be good at all three disciplines – you can’t have a weakness, at all.”
Turning 32 in 2011, Atkinson has several prime triathlon years ahead. “Age is one thing, and experience,” he said. “It might sound silly, as you get older and get the miles in your legs, the sport gets easier and easier.”
CAREER IN BRIEF:
2008 Beijing Olympian (11th), 7 x ITU World Cup event winner, 16 x ITU World Cup podium finisher, 3 x Noosa Triathlon Winner, Australian Grand Prix winner (2001-2004), Australian Olympic Distance Triathlon Champion (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009), Australian Sprint Distance Triathlon Champion (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009), World Junior Champion 1999, Australian Elite Team Member 2001-03, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011)