Sam Dickinson: Background, career highlights, quotes

Yorkshireman Sam Dickinson has mounted many a mixed team relay podium around the globe and achieved some solid individual results. Let's meet the GB up-and-comer…

GB triathlete Samuel Dickinson competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Triathlon Mixed Team Relay Final

The winner of some notable races in his own right, it’s as part of relay squads where most of Sam Dickinson’s triumphs have come so far. In his Leeds home, numerous championship medals hang proudly.

Advertisement

Who is Sam Dickinson?

Born in York and resident of Leeds, Sam Dickinson personifies Yorkshire grit. He never gives less than his all, whether racing for himself or being an essential cog in the wheel of the all-conquering British mixed relay team.

Although he didn’t start triathlon until well into his teens, Dickinson was a national champion and a European silver medallist before his 19th birthday, both in the junior ranks. This promise, demonstrated at such a tender age in his career, would soon translate into major honours as a team player.

European championship gold was the first of these, as the GB junior mixed relay quartet marched to glory in Lisbon in 2016. The following year, Dickinson wore his second European crown, this time as a result of the U23 mixed relay team’s triumph in Hungary.

A third European title with the British elite squad would eventually follow, but not before Dickinson took individual silver at the 2018 U23 World Championship.

His most notable performance to date though came at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where, having helped to smooth team-mate Alex Yee’s path to the men’s title, he won gold as one quarter of England’s mixed relay team.

Having only just turned 25, it was yet another medal in a glittering career – a career that will surely experience many more successes before the Yorkshireman even starts to think about hanging up his running shoes.

How old is Sam Dickinson?

Sam Dickinson was born on 11 July 1997, making him 25 years of age.

Sam Dickinson’s career highlights

Sam Dickinson competing at the 2022 World Triathlon mixed team relay in Hamburg. (Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images for Ironman)

July 2015: A maiden national title

At the national sprint championships in Liverpool, Dickinson takes the junior men’s title, his run making all the difference and putting six crucial seconds between him and the rest of the field.

May 2016: Silver and gold in Lisbon

Sam Dickinson en route to a 2016 European Junior Champs silver medal in Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Dave Pearce/British Triathlon)

A single second separates Dickinson from gold medallist Javier Lluch Perez at the European junior championships in the Portuguese capital, but the Yorkshireman is comfortably clear of the next Brit, fifth-placed Alex Yee.

The following day, he and Yee – plus Sian Rainsley and Kate Waugh – team up in the mixed relay to take a triumphant gold.

June 2016: European Cup glory soon follows

The fine form that Dickinson has been in this season continues with a junior European Cup win in Kitzbühel, a result he replicates a fortnight later in the same competition, this time in the Dutch town of Holten.

August 2017: A second European crown

Having finished just outside the medals the day before in the U23 race at the European championships in Velence in Hungary, the following days sees Dickinson striking gold as part of the U23 mixed relay quartet.

September 2018: Silver on the Gold Coast

L-R: Tayler Reid, Sam Dickinson and Leo Bergere compete in the World U23 Championship in Gold Coast, Australia. (Credit: Wagner Araujo/British Triathlon/World Triathlon)

At the U23 World Champs at the ITU Grand Final in Queensland, Dickinson finishes an honourable second having been unable to keep up with New Zealander Tayler Reid in the closing stages of the run.

July 2019: Wins galore – and a European silver

Dickinson’s first significant victory as an elite is a comfortable one in the European Cup race in the Estonian city of Tartu, having posted the fastest splits both in the water and on the bike.

Two weeks later, he takes silver in the European sprint championships in Kazan in Russia behind compatriot George Benson.

There is further success for Dickinson in eastern Europe this season, with a World Cup win in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and a European Cup triumph in Constanta, Russia.

June 2021: A third European title

After a prolonged, Covid-affected lay-off from competition, Dickinson comes back with a bullet and, as part of an immaculate GB mixed relay squad, take gold in the European Champs in Kitzbühel.

Two days earlier, his seventh place makes him the highest-placed Brit in the men’s race.

June 2022: Another silver for the collection

In Montreal, the usually unflappable GB mixed relay team have to settle for silver at the relay world championships behind the dazzling French foursome. The following month, though, the British bunch will win at the Hamburg stopover of the WTCS series.

July 2022: Golden boy at the Commonwealths

L-R: Alex Yee, Sophie Coldwell, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Samuel Dickinson of Team England win gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games triathlon mixed team relay final. (Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Having finished 19th in the men’s race at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (a performance largely determined by his role as a domestique for his team-mate, the golden Alex Yee), Dickinson hits gold again as part of England’s unstoppable mixed relay squad, one that also contains Yee, Sophie Coldwell and Georgia Taylor-Brown.

October 2022: Podium in Tongyeong 

Sam Dickinson en route to winning bronze at the 2022 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong. (Credit: Janos Schmidt/World Triathlon)

In South Korea, at his second World Cup race of the year (he finished seventh at Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in September), he finishes on the podium.

Sam Dickinson in quotes

On taking up triathlon: “My brother and I both played every sport as kids, and hockey was our best, but I knew I wasn’t good enough to play higher than county level. Triathlon came rather late for me. However, I progressed quickly to the top of the national races and soon had my first GB vest.”

On competing at his home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022: “It was surreal. I watched the 2002 Commonwealths in Manchester so, 20 years later, to be the one being watched felt like an immense achievement. Seeing all the young aspiring athletes cheering me on filled me with pride.”

On surrendering his own ambitions and helping Alex Yee win individual gold at the Commonwealths: “When you’ve got an athlete like Alex who can run as fast as he can, we all knew our job was to get him a medal. I gave absolutely everything on that bike to get him as close as possible [to the lead group]. I was in a world of pain on the run.”

What’s next for Sam Dickinson?

With most of his championship medals being won at relay, it’s time for Dickinson to re-emerge in his own right, to fulfil his individual ambitions.

Climbing up the World Triathlon Championship Series rankings has to be a high priority for 2023.

Advertisement

Top image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images