For the first time in history, this year’s Ironman World Championship is split over two days of racing in Hawaii.
But one tradition that has remained was getting the professionals together for a pre-race press conference in the grounds of the King Kamehameha hotel.
While you can watch the whole thing here, to save you time and to get you in the mood for the action, we’ve picked out and counted down our top lines…
What the pros said at the 2022 Ironman Worlds press conference
12. Fourth-placed in St George, Skye Moench: “I think I’m the only Kona rookie up here on the women’s side. Everyone says the race will chew you up and spit you out, but I have lot of other Ironman experience to draw off.”
11. Ironman Lake Placid winner, new mum and psychology student Sarah True: “I’m probably the only person sitting up here thinking this is a vacation week.
“I’m not in a lecture, I’m not changing diapers and I cannot wait to race. A happy athlete is always a faster athlete and I have nothing to lose!”
10. British hope and Ironman 70.3 world champ Lucy Charles-Barclay: “Three years away and I thought it might be four. It feels like a pinch-me moment being back and it’s given me so much fire and appreciation for being on this island.”
9. Hawaii 2019 champion Anne Haug: “It was an interesting three years away because you learn a lot about yourself and your motivations for doing this sport. I will continue because I love what I do.”
8. Five-time and reigning Ironman champion Daniela Ryf: “Since St George I feel I have nothing to prove. I just want to play and I’m here to play hard.”
7. 2019 second-place finisher Tim O’Donnell: “I’m not just happy to be racing but happy to be here after the heart attack in March 2021.
“The first thing the doctor said when I got off the operating table was I’d have to find a new career, so when I was asked to the press conference, I wasn’t sure whether it was this one of the one with the ‘special interest’ stories.”
6. Ironman 70.3 world champion Gustav Iden: “This is going to be my second-ever full distance Ironman, so I’m not only a rookie in Hawaii but a rookie at the Ironman distance.”
5. Ironman 2014 world champion Sebastian Kienle: “I thought I got this invite because it’s probably my last Ironman World Championship. I’m trying to be at the after-race press conference. That’s the more important one.”
4. Ironman 2017 and 2018 world champion Patrick Lange: “Out of failure we learn the most if we are open to it. I learned a lot in 2019, but I made some changes and I’m better than ever and ready to go.”
3. St George third-place finisher Braden Currie: “I feel we can slip off the couch and do an Ironman these days. The distance isn’t that scary, it’s just tolerating this heat and seeing how fast we can go.”
2. Reigning Ironman champion Kristian Blummenfelt: “I think people fail the first time they come to the island because they need to build up the experience. With the focus on going back to short distance for Paris [Olympics 2024] we don’t have that time.”
1. St George runner-up Lionel Sanders: “I guess I’m a veteran. I’ve walked this race many times!”
Top image credit: Donald Miralle for Ironman