Olympic Buffs: Flora Duffy

Flora Duffy, a 24-year-old sociology major at CU, was one of six current and former Buffs to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Duffy competed in the women’s triathlon for her native country of Bermuda and was the only Buff to represent a country other than the United States.

(CU Independent Illustration/Josh Shettler)

It was Duffy’s second Olympic experience, as she also competed in the triathlon in Beijing in 2008 but did not finish. In  London, Duffy battled through a crash and mechanical errors on the bike to finish 45th overall.

Duffy spoke with the CU Independent via email on Friday about her experience at the Olympics and what it means to represent the Buffs in London.

CU Independent: What were your goals going into the London Games? What will you take away from the experience?

Flora Duffy: I had two goals going into London. The first was to have the best result possible, which I thought was a top-10 finish. The second goal was to enjoy and make the most of my Olympic experience regardless of the result. I unfortunately crashed on the first lap of the bike, along with a bunch of other girls, so my hopes of finishing in the top-10 were gone. I went from the front pack to the third pack on the bike. It was very disappointing, but I finished the race and I can be proud of that.

CUI: How did the London Olympic race compare to your first Olympics in Beijing in 2008?

FD: In Beijing, I was 20 years old and went into the race sick and injured, so it was a terrifying experience. In London, I was going into the race in really good physical form and I was confident about my abilities. I entered both races with very different mental and physical form. However, they both ended up in heartbreak as I was a DNF in Beijing and I crashed in London. The Olympics can be harsh! On the positive side, I am still very young for triathlon, so 2016 is a goal of mine — and this time it won’t end in heartache!

CUI: You were one of six CU athletes, both current students and alumni, who competed in London. What does it mean to you to be representing CU at the Olympics (especially as CU’s only athlete competing for a country other than the USA)? Did you get to see any of the other CU athletes or watch them compete?

FD: It was really cool to be one of six CU athletes at the Olympics. I have always wanted to represent CU at the varsity level, but as triathlon is not offered as a varsity sport, I can’t. So representing CU at the Olympics is the next best thing. I love being a student at the university, so it was great to showcase CU at the Olympic level. I watched Emma (Coburn) and Jenny (Simpson) run on TV while I was in the village.  It was really hard to get tickets for the athletics, but I knew what events they were running so I made sure the TV was on to watch them.

CUI: How has the rest of the triathlon season been going for you so far? What are your goals for the remainder of the season?

FD: I’ve actually had a really good season minus the Olympic performance. I won my first World Cup in May, and then five days later I raced in San Diego in one of the biggest World Triathlon Series races and was sixth. I have also been on the podium a few more times this season in other big races, so all in all it has gone very well. I have three more races this year. To be honest, now that I am back in school and my life is crazy juggling training for three sports and class, I just want to have fun racing. But there is still a part of me that wants to have a one last great performance before the season ends, so hopefully I can do it.

Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Caryn Maconi at Caryn.maconi@colorado.edu

Caryn Maconi

Caryn in a junior Journalism: News-Editorial major at CU with an emphasis in sociology. She is an avid Buffs fan and has been on the CUI sports staff for three semesters. Caryn is also the communications manager for the student-run sports broadcast CU SportsMag. Caryn is working towards a licensure in elementary education. She loves working with kids, writing and being outside, whether she's swimming, biking and running with the CU Triathlon Team or just enjoying a hike in the Flatirons. Her dream job would combine writing with her love for fitness and the outdoors!

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