Daniela Ryf relishing Laureus recognition

2019-02-18 15:24
Daniela Ryf (Getty Images)
Daniela Ryf (Getty Images)

Monaco - Simone Biles, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Ester Ledecka, Mikaela Shiffrin and Daniela Ryf.

The Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year category has perhaps thrown up something of a surprise with the inclusion of Swiss triathlete and Ironman world champion, Daniela Ryf. Yet in terms of achievements, she should be right at home among such esteemed company.

She has won the Ironman World Championships four years in a row and picked up a second World title in the World 70.3 Ironman Championships in 2018. She currently appears unbeatable and is widely acknowledged as the greatest female Ironman competitor of all time.

So when she looks at her fellow nominations, who does she feel stands out? Exhaling loudly, Ryf considers the list.

“They are all amazing women, amazing sportswomen and I definitely feel very honoured to be nominated next to them.”

She continues, “They all had amazing results last year and are all unique in their own category.”

And of course, with her achievements in 2018, she must feel like she’s in with a chance? She answers with the calmness and professionalism that characterises her Ironman performances.

“I was voted Sportswoman of the Year in Switzerland and that was really special because it was voted for by the people. I think the Laureus World Sports Award is definitely the biggest award you can get as an athlete. Even being nominated is a huge honour.”

Ryf has also twice represented Switzerland in the Olympic Games in the shorter Triathlon distance, finishing a creditable seventh in Beijing in 2008.

Is she Tokyo-bound?

She pauses to consider once more. When the answer comes, it’s measured and precise.

“No, I don’t plan to race at the Olympics. The chart distance Triathlon is not a target at all, because I know when I was seventh in Beijing, that was the best I could do. I’m happy with that and I don’t want to go to the Olympics just to be part of it. I think I’ve found my discipline with Ironman racing and long-distance racing.”

So what’s next for Ryf? She doesn’t hesitate.

“Keep racing. Keep enjoying what I do. I mean, I really like what I do and I still feel like I haven’t reached my absolute best yet. I want to improve and hopefully inspire some people. It’s a great feeling if someone comes to you and says, ‘hey, I started doing sports because of you.’ So yeah, it definitely motivates me. Keep going - that’s my plan!”

And should she win the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award?

“That would definitely be the biggest achievement or honour I’ve ever received in my career, that’s for sure.”

For more information about the Laureus World Sports Awards, head to

Follow Laureus on Twitter and Instagram @LaureusSport and Facebook - @LaureusSportForGood

Read more on:    laureus  |  daniela ryf


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