Emma Snowsill: ‘It’d be pretty cool if long-distance racing was in the Olympics’

Aussie star talks women in tri, winning Beijing and new race distances for the Olympics

Emma Snowshill

Olympic, Commonwealth and multiple ITU World Champ Emma Snowsill (AUS) is the latest athlete we speak to as part of our Tri Legends series, which celebrates the athletes who have dominated our sport in the 25 years since 220 first hit newsstands.


Issue 298 went on sale yesterday (April 1st), featuring a 21-page open-water swimming special, our guide to the perfect bike fit, a look at the UK’s growing kids triathlon scene, we put the Boardman AiR TT/9/4 through its paces and lots more – for more details head here.

What, for you, have been the major changes in the sport since you started back in the very late 1990s?

The number of women competing and the depth of the female field has definitely risen. A big change in Olympic-distance racing is the ITU making the World Championships a series instead of a one-day championship. And no longer having to explain what a triathlon is, it’s pretty well known these days.

Who would be your tri hero of 220’s lifetime?

It’s got to be Loretta Harrop. I admired the way she raced and, as I got to know her, I came to understand the mental aspect of competing even more. I learnt what perseverance and hard work was in training and how to translate this into racing. I think she was one of the toughest competitors out there.

What would you rank as your greatest achievement in tri?

It has to be the Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008.

Can you recall the first time you featured in 220?

I think it would have to be after winning the ITU World Championships at Queenstown in 2003. I just remember being surprised that people in the UK wanted to read about me!

What major changes should tri make in its next 25 years?

I’d love to see the World Champs go back to a one-day race and I think it’d be pretty cool if Ironman/long-distance racing was in the Olympics. But above all that, I’d love to see triathlon remain as the ‘model sport’ for people looking to lead a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. As people are becoming more aware of their health, I think triathlon has a lot to offer for the everyday person looking to make these changes in their life.

(Main image: Delly Carr/ITU)


This year’s WTS series starts in Auckland this coming weekend, with Javier Gomez and Jonny Brownlee among the athletes set to race – for our preview of the WTS tour’s first four races head here