“Triathlon is more than a sport, it has helped shape me from the very beginning”
– Ben Kanute, Team USA
Triathlon has been an integral thread in Ben Kanute’s life since he was a young boy. One of his earliest memories is watching his dad race down Lower Wacker Drive at the iconic Mrs. T’s Chicago triathlon and it wasn’t long after that, Ben found himself on a high-performance youth triathlon team. Led by a dedicated coach who dished out real-deal workouts, Ben was introduced to the triathlon lifestyle and the idea of becoming an Olympian.
At the ripe age of 24, Ben is a solid competitor on the ITU circuit. Known for his strong swimming and powerful cycling Ben is now rounding out his talents and focusing on his running to contend with the best on the day. He’s willing to put it all out there in his training and racing by consistently coming up with a plan, following through and testing it out. He’s put down picture-perfect performances and other times, fallen flat. He reflects on his sub-par performances and knows that those are there, not for self-pity, but to self-strengthen. Ben is a classic case of the champion mindset. He continually picks himself up, dusts himself off and looks deep within to come out the other side as a better athlete and person.
One such experience was that of his Rio test event which Ben describes as “embarrassing”. Following this race, he reached out for the help he needed and dug deep only to come back with an epic performance at the 2015 Chicago ITU Grande Finale. A stellar performance that not only landed him the USA Triathlon Elite National Champion title but one that set him up perfectly to claim his Olympic spot at Yokohama the following season.
“Step by step” is how Ben describes his career and road to the Rio games last summer. Ben’s Olympic road is the perfect example that dreams are not realized overnight, they are a work of art, a labor of love and many times they require years of focus, discipline and work.
He takes us through his Olympic race in Rio last summer and shares his takeaways and what he learned about where he needs to be for medal contention. He does feel that he has some unfinished business at this level of racing but is going to take the next few years to discover and play with other distances and types of triathlon racing. Ben seems to maintain a level of humility that allows him to grow and this is why we believe that he will have a long and prosperous career racing multi-sport.
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Episode 43 Show Notes
Get your ITU access – best trainer ride past-times
RIO Olympics Men’s Final Highlights:
ITU Yokohama Men’s Race Highlights:
ITU Mixed Relay Hamburg Germany:
U23 Junior Relay
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