The phenomenon Chrissie Wellington or the burning of the witches

The phenomenon Chrissie Wellington or the burning of the witches

It is amazing and up to certain extent barefaced what is going on around Chrissie after her impressing performance in Roth at the Challenge race on the weekend. Obviously, she has developed into a threat for men and women. Therefore the comments and articles around her person are so extremely emotional, be it positive or negative. They range from the new super dope that may be on the market to the assumption (we get this debate every year after the race in Roth) that the course in Roth is just too short. There are those women and some men at their side who are suspicious, jealous and blame Chrissie. These women feel fleeced, and unable to appreciate an extraordinary talent. And there are the men who are awestruck and bend in front of a women who is on eye-level with them.

Why should she not compare her performance with the men’s?

I have and I still experience this attitude from women and men all my life through, not in public, because my job is different, but I know the feeling, and understand Chrissie’s approach to racing. I understand that she wants to compare her performance with men. Women in other fields of our male-dominated society have to do this every day. For some reason there are only few women in leading positions on this globe, and this is not due to incapability. In sport the sexes have always been split, so collisions did not occur. Now with Chrissie, the sport is confronted with this conflict constellation and is not at all prepared for it. Triathlon where women and men are racing the very same race fosters this development. One must be very ignorant not having expected something like this happening one day.

Why can’t we accept a super talented person

You athletes out there, did you ever take into consideration that there are humans (and I am not talking about men or women, I mean humans) who are even much more gifted than those who are above average, so that the rift between them and us becomes immense. If you think of mathematicians or musicians it may be easier for you to understand or accept that fact. It’s of course easier to accept those ones with their excellency you don’t feel threatened by. It is definitely not fun to race as a woman having Chrissie in the field, knowing not standing a chance only to come close to her (not to forget the 5% rule of WTC). Nevertheless this does not justify condemnation.

Why do we have to blame her of using illegal means? If we go back in history whether it is in art or in science you find many examples for super talents, talents that have changed the world, and have been condemned to death or died forgotten and in poverty. And we



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  1. Great article, and I am also totally in awe of Chrissie and her amazing focus.
    She is an inspiration to all athletes, new or established.

    The problems I see are that, due to the huge doping scandals in various sports of late, the world is very cynical.

    I myself am a huge Tour de France fan, and cycling in general. I loved watching Jan Ullrich the German, Marco Pantani the Italian and Bjarne Riis the Dane. These guys all won the Tour de France, and all three of them are proven dopers.
    Many guys cycling the Tour de France this year have previously been banned for doping.
    Now Floyd Landis, another Tour winner confesses to doping. Many of these guys spent their careers without a positive test.

    When Michelle Smith the irish swimmer won her Olympic Golds, I was starting to wonder heavily about doping. Then I remember when the Chinese put out a swim team of heavily muscled men and women, like nothing seen before. Look at the likes of Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, both dopers. Sport is saturated with doping.

    This is the main reason why I can no longer look at the stellar performance that is so far ahead of the competition without wondering if doping is involved.

    This makes me sad. Because I want sport to be clean and to be only about the quality of the athlete, their grit and determination, and their own will to power. Instead the sopers have ruined sport.

    Of course I cannot think that it could be any other way. It’s a perfect example of game theory to see doping in action. Sportsmen and women all believe their competitors are doing it (and often they are) so why should they not do it.

    I don’t know what the solution is. bringing in doping controls, unless it is effective, is almost meaningless. The biological passport seems to be having some effect in cycling. Maybe triathlon this would be effective too. Trusting people not to dope is really not an option.

    One of the worst things is that doping destroys the soul of the athlete, forcing them to cheat and lie and live with this terrible burden for the rest of their lives and know that people are in doubt of their achievements. It produces anger and bitterness and often further lies.

    Athletes should be able to retire and glow in their glories, not turn into bitter and resentful creatures.

    I personally am a supporter of and I hope this push for new levels of clean performance continues. I want to look at new world records that beat previous times by 13 minutes, and think only of the amazing performance of the athlete involved.

  2. I agree: I’m a man and several women always do better than I do at triathlon (or at many other things in life). I’m not ashamed of it. I just think I have to try harder.

    It’s fine by me that Chrissie compares her performance to men’s. She’s a super athlete and she should be proud of herself. People like me look up to her.

  3. When are glam rockers going to resign themselves to irrelevancy and stop harassing the rest of us via reality tv?

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