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Four-Time Ironman Champ Visits STL

Chrissie Wellington, 4-time World Ironman Champion, visited St. Louis in May during her 12-city tour of North America. The 35-year old native of the United Kingdom burst onto the professional triathlon circuit in 2007, dominating the Ironman distance since going pro. Wellington has won all 13 Ironman races that she has participated in, including four World Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

In early 2012, she announced that she was taking a break from racing to focus her attention on working with the charities that she supports and promoting the sport of triathlon. She toured North America from May 12 – June 3, including a stop in St. Louis, to promote her new book, “A Life Without Limits.”

Jennifer Cunnane, of St. Louis’ Off the Front Racing Team, was the driving force in bringing Wellington to St. Louis. With the support of the event sponsors, including Big Shark Bicycle Company, the day’s events were a huge success.

During her visit, Wellington met with students from St. Michael’s CW_kids_lowresSchool of Clayton and spoke to more than 630 fans at Chaminade College Preparatory School where she signed copies of her book. Wellington was also able to sneak in an afternoon bike ride through the St. Louis area.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket and book sales benefited St. Michael’s School Tri-Art Summer Camp, which gives children the opportunity to build strength and endurance, learn sportsmanship, and “experience the thrill of being a three sport athlete though triathlon training.”

The event for Wellington in St. Louis raised approximately $7,000 in scholarships for underprivileged children to attend the Tri-Art Camp. The funds raised will also help pay for the equipment needed for the camp including bikes, goggles and running shoes.

s an internationally known professional athlete, Wellington has embraced her celebrity status. She is utilizing her position in the spotlight as a platform to act as an ambassador for the sport of triathlon, serve as a positive role model, and bring attention to the charities that she supports. “What I think is important to me is that I use my voice, my platform to affect positive change,” Wellington said.

CW_bike_FP_lowresHer visit to St. Louis was unique on her tour as it added a component that she relishes – the opportunity to speak to and positively influence children. “What is important to me is the impact you can make on a very personal level. Like me signing autographs, handing out medals at the finish line, giving talks to kids. You can touch people on a one-to-one basis,” Wellington explained.

Approximately 45 students from St. Michael’s gathered in Forest Park to listen to Wellington’s positive message. She stressed the importance of setting goals, eating healthy and living an active lifestyle. “It’s all about doing your best, and if you do your best, you can’t ask for anything more,” she said. Wellington hinted that she plans on returning to racing competitively again after her break from the sport, but she is enjoying the time she is taking to personally meet her fans. “It’s empowerment on a personal level and that’s very important to me as a role model for the sport,” she explained.

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