A Case for Jan Frodeno as the GOAT of Triathlon
When my editor contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I wanted to write an article about how Jan Frodeno is one of the greatest triathletes of all time, my initial thought was “Wow, absolutely!” quickly followed by “Oh boy… no pressure at all.”
For the past four years that I’ve been in the sport, I’ve watched some of his incredible finishes, like his 2019 win at Kona, 2021 Zwift Tri Battle Royale, and more recently his masterful performance at the PTO US Open. I knew he was the winner of an Olympic gold medal, but honestly I didn’t know much about his early background in short course triathlon.
So, this piece involved a lot of research and compiling of stats, diving back into the archives to dig up records of races from nearly 20 years ago. It also took a bit of patience and persistence.
Initially, the plan was to write this piece with the perspective of other pro triathletes and sources who could comment on Jan’s decades of dominance in the sport. But I never like to write an article about an athlete without talking to the actual athlete. It just feels weird, almost disingenuous.
However, this is the busiest time of year for most professional triathletes, just two weeks before the IRONMAN World Championship, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to interview Jan, but I wanted to try. Thanks to a friend at IM, Jan’s agent, and Jan, himself, who carved out a few minutes to answer my long emails, we got it done! I’m so glad because his commentary adds so much to the piece.
It was just published today, so I haven’t heard what Jan thinks of it yet. But I like it, and hopefully I was able to do his incredible career in the sport some justice.
I’ll leave you with my favorite Frodeno quote from the article: