Grassroots to Glory - Georgia Taylor-Brown
It was Beverly who first wondered about Taylor-Brown’s triple-sport potential and sent an enquiry to British Triathlon. Her email caught the attention of performance pathway manager Simon Mills, who invited Taylor-Brown to a talent identification day in Loughborough. If the rest is history, Taylor-Brown sped through the next chapters. Back-to-back double ETU European junior championship titles in 2012 and 2013 preceded world junior silver. A banner year 2018 included gold at the ETU Sprint Triathlon World Cup and a maiden ITU World Triathlon Series podium finish, claiming silver in front of her home crowd in Leeds, where she also enjoyed her first World Triathlon Series win the following year.
In 2020, Taylor-Brown held off her Tokyo-bound teammates Learmonth and Holland - and everyone else - in Hamburg for her first world title, one that, as she deliriously put it on the day, “just sort of happened.”The life of a world champion is not always as glamorous as it sounds. Yorkshire’s unpredictable blusters could not be further from Tokyo’s sticky humidity—there is a reason Emily Bronte did not set Wuthering Heights in Harajuku—so Taylor-Brown got creative. Her pre-Tokyo regime has included running in waterproofs, using the turbo trainer next to the radiator whilst sporting full thermals, and taking scorching hot baths, fully-clothed—complete with a bobble hat. “When you first get into a bath, it’s really lovely, isn’t it?” she mused. "And then you realise it’s too hot after a few minutes. Oh my god, I am just sweating now, I am just sitting here in my own sweat. I had to drain the bath and crawl out. I just lay on the landing, I thought I was going to die.”The pandemic has also helped the routine-aholic get accustomed to change, though she still has her traditions—a burger after every race, and lately a lot of Taylor Swift and Ziggy Alberts through the headphones. Sometimes, though, Taylor-Brown prefers a different playlist out on the Dales. Even more than the baths and bobble hats, it is the soundtrack that is arguably best prepared the world champion for her debut at the spectator-free Tokyo Games.She said: “If I’m quite content and happy then I’ll go out and just listen to the silence. It’s nice not to hear anything at all, just to hear the wind is actually quite nice sometimes, just out on my own, listening to my own heartbeat and my own breath.”That heart might be thumping a little louder lately, but long gone are the days of sobbing in a tent. Swim, bike, run—Georgia Taylor-Brown, Olympic triathlete, is 100 per cent ready.