Untold 2XU stories from the year of all years.
2020 has been a brutal year for sport. Whilst big monied leagues scrambled to operate a fixture in a COVID-safe way, many sports simply had their calendar gutted completely.
Finish lines disappeared.
Whilst media focussed some attention on the suffering of the more mainstream sporting disciplines, exponents of triathlon, track and field and personal training have been literally forgotten.
But we haven’t forgotten.
This is our snapshot of a year made memorable for all the wrong reasons. It is a story of triumph over adversity and a two-finger salute to everything that tried to stop us.
It’s also a look to the future and new finish lines to be crossed.
In the midst of lockdown, we asked our 2XU family from across the world for their help.
What came back captured the fighting spirit of the 2XU athlete.
2020 is nearly done, but 2021?
We’re coming for you.
Australian triathlete Aaron Royle and his fiancé, British triathlete Non Stanford, escaped the UK winter to train in Fuerteventura. The pair then started the World Series in Abu Dhabi before COVID-19 put a stop to that.
“At the time, we didn’t realise the magnitude of what would follow. We naively prepared to race a World Cup in America, planned for just two weeks later. This was still early March before almost the entire world would come to a standstill. But within a few weeks, it seemed that the most logical thing to do was to fly back to Australia,” said Royle.
“If two weeks quarantine locked in a small hotel room with your fiancé isn’t a test of your compatibility, then I don’t know what is!”
“Thankfully, we had the turbo trainer, our bikes and Zwift to keep us company and give us our own space. We aren’t super competitive with each other, but we both think we know what’s best!”
LOCKED DOWN, BUT NOT OUT!
The ‘Two Emma’s’, Emma Carney and Emma Hogan faced training in Melbourne’s tough lockdown restrictions.
When all public pools closed, the veteran and her prodigy simply built one themselves. The pop-up pool was bought with donations through Podium Project, an initiative to support future triathlete stars.
"The instructions said 30-minute construction. We nailed it in 20.”
TIME TO GET CRAZY
Clint Kimmins wears many sporting caps: big-wave rider, triathlete, endurance athlete and professional Bondi lifeguard. Clint is thinking about the next international Ironman, endurance cycling events, criterium cycling races, a marathon and multiple-day adventure races. Before the pandemic hit, he entered into Dirty Kanza, a solo, self-supported, 200-mile-long bicycling endurance challenge on the gravel and dirt roads of east-central Kansas.
“With COVID travel restrictions… I really hope my entry to Dirty Kanza still stands if the race goes ahead!”
Los Angeles-based personal trainer, Kupah James has found that quarantine has strengthened the resolve of his clients. "People in my community have their own lives but they’re jumping through hoops, hell or high water to come to my class. If they can’t make it, they’re asking for a pre-recorded version, they’ll do it virtually at home. They’re finding ways to work out.”
“Everything I’ve put into the fitness lane during quarantine has come back tenfold. It feels really good. I’m super-excited I can still connect with people.”
“I floated the idea of doing a class on the beach in one of my Zoom classes. In my first week I had eight people, in my sixth week we had 30 people and now we’ve had 35 - 40 people every single Saturday.”
TRAINING FOR NOTHING?
5 x Triathlon World Champion, Terenzo Bozzone was on course to take a shot at the famous Hawaii Kona Ironman title this year after battling his way back from being hit by a car in 2018 and then missing 2019 with an Achilles injury. Having nearly peaked in fitness in early 2020, but with no international competition, the New Zealander’s year has focussed on simply maintaining peak fitness.
“Kona is the unfinished business. I would love to win.”
THE BUSINESS OF WORKOUTS
For Justin Nucum, the founder of Hardkour Performance, this year has been testing. “In terms of the business, it actually opened up so many different ideas as to how we could pivot. Luckily for us, most people kept their memberships and we just shifted to a mentality that just because we’re in quarantine, it didn’t mean we couldn’t workout,” said Nucum.
“The question was more around how we adjust. At the start of the lockdown, a lot of workout equipment was either sold-out or doubling, even tripling in price. So, I focused on creating home workouts for people based on what they could do or what they had access to.”
“That’s the beauty of what we do. Obstacles shape or model the races but they also shape and model our lives. If you could work out or race during COVID, you can hack life.”