Sports2024 Summer Olympics


Gwen Jorgensen on switching to the 5K and becoming a mother

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 19:50:05-04

Since winning historic triathlon gold in Rio, Gwen Jorgensen has become a mother, switched from triathlon to marathon, and now 5k and maybe 10k - and loves coming in, under the radar.

"I will be doing the 5k, and then the 10K is after that, so I will be doing both at the trials," Gwen Jorgensen says.

Gwen Jorgensen switched to solely running, and will not defend her Olympic triathlon gold.

"I think more people are just 'like you're crazy, what are you doing? Just stick to triathlon,'" Jorgensen says.

Jorgensen tried marathons before cutting her running distance and events. Any regrets?

"(Exhales), I can honestly say no. There is probably a tiny part of me that is, you know, the mixed team relay, having that as the first event," Jorgensen says.

Jorgensen has endured injury and surgery. And some thought becoming a mother would be another hurdle. But not in her eyes.

"Going into Rio Olympics, I was like I'm going to do the Rio Olympics and have a family and that's it. I didn't think I could have both. I didn't think I could be a mom and an athlete. And I'm so thankful for the women before me who showed me that they could do it. That you can be a mom and an athlete and that inspired me to be like 'whoa! Maybe my career life doesn't have to be over just because I have a child,'" Jorgensen says.

Now when we first met Gwen, she worked at Ernst and Young. So coming off tax season, I had to ask.

Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "During tax season, do you get nervous or is everything already done and taken care of?"

"Oh boy, um, I don't even do my taxes!" Jorgensen says with a laugh. "Which is, I'm really, I feel so bad admitting that because I was a tax accountant. I wasn't even doing an audit. Like I was a tax accountant. This is my thing!"

And if you think she's resting on her laurels, just ask where is her gold medal.

"You know, I honestly can say I don't even know where it is," Jorgensen exclaims. "My husband's always like, if somebody comes over and we want to show them, he like gets it out and he always changes the location."

It's clear the Waukesha native is enjoying not having the pressure of being the odds on favorite.

"I'm not going to make a switch in a sport at the Olympic level and instantly be good," Jorgensen says. "I can't expect that and for me, I really do enjoy the challenge."

Jorgensen also says her biggest hope for the Tokyo Games is that they happen. And she's hoping her race day experience overrides her race-tactic inexperience.

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