After 15 years as a triathlete, two Olympic medals and “countless great memories”, New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty has announced his retirement from the sport.
“This was certainly no easy decision,” writes Docherty on his blog, “however with injuries outweighing winning results in the last season it seems like a great time to listen to this tired old body and bow out gracefully. There is no doubt I have more victories in me however over the last few years it has been increasingly more difficult to reach that form and even harder to hold it. ‘Back in the day’ I could peak for months on end but nowadays I’m lucky to get a few weeks.
“The other major contributing factor was my family, although I had the complete support of my family I just wasn’t willing to make the sacrifices and miss out on things I would regret in later years. Triathlon is such a physically demanding sport and after a solid day/week of training I have always been torn between staying at home to recover or going to the park to play with my kids.”
The 37-year-old athlete says the defining moment of his career was winning silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics in a Kiwi 1-2 (Hamish Carter took gold), along with winning the ITU world champs and an Olympic bronze in Beijing. He adds that the most recent high was winning his first Ironman in his hometown of Taupo in record time in front of his family and friends.
“I certainly couldn’t have achieved any of these results without the support of family, friends and sponsors. Even with a year of subpar results and news of injury, my current sponsors have been so supportive and stood by me. The life of a professional athlete is filled with many highs and lows, and it was always comforting to have sponsors that had my back.”
Signing off, Docherty says that moving into coaching post-retirement “probably isn’t a good option”, and plans to spend his time working towards a commercial pilot’s licence and working on house renovations to fulfil his creative side.
“Whichever direction my future takes me I’m confident that skills and attitude I’ve learnt over the years as a professional triathlete will serve me well. I look forward to following the sport I love from an outside perspective, however I also look forward to drinking more beer, having more energy and living a ‘normal’ life.”
(Images: Delly Carr / Frank Wechsel)
What are your favourite moments from Docherty’s career? Let us know in the comments!