ISSUE #23, Summer 2004 – Susan Bartholomew Williams of Littleton was the last member of the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team to be selected for this year’s summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Susan has been racing for the U.S. National Team at the elite international World Cup level for over seven years. She was working hard towards earning a spot on the team that was headed to Sydney in 2000. However, just a few days before the trials were held in Irving, Texas, she learned she was pregnant with her first child. It is dangerous to let one’s heart rate get too high during pregnancy, so she had to hold back and let others lead the race. She named her daughter Sydney in honor of that sacrifice.
She did not give up her dream, however, and the additional four years of hard training have paid off and she will be headed to Athens in August.
This year she has been working with former world champion and Boulder resident Siri Lindley as her coach. Lindley will also be going to Athens as a commentator for NBC–not only for the triathlon, but also for field hockey, which she competed in at the collegiate level.
The team was selected using a combination of three races and the international world ranking of the athletes. The races were this year’s World Championships in Spain, a World Cup race in Honolulu, and an international points race in Bellingham, Washington on June 13th.
Susan was in a very tight battle with Laura Reback of Florida for the final slot, and it came down to who crossed the finish line ahead of the other in Bellingham, the final qualifying race. Susan came in third, Reback fifth.
“This was a dream race for me. It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Williams said. “Now I will just train a little harder for the next few weeks and will celebrate a little bit.”
Sheila Taormina, who was on the 2000 team, and Barb Lindquist are the other two women on the team.