Former Olympic champion Simon Whitfield has decided to take a break from racing Olympic distances and will not return to the national team in 2013.
Triathlon Canada made the announcement in a release Friday afternoon, adding it supports Whitfield’s decision.
“Simon is taking a break from our national program after having played a significant role in not only putting us on the international radar screen, but ensuring our sport’s credibility within the Canadian sport system over the last decade,” said Triathlon Canada executive director Alan Trivett.
“Simon has done some heavy lifting for our sport — encouraging the next generation of Olympic medallists to believe they too can win, while sparking tremendous growth of triathlon for all ages across the country.”
Whitfield, 37, plans to explore the opportunity of competing in other race distances. He won gold in men’s triathlon at the 2000 Sydney Games and added silver eight years later in Beijing.
The Victoria resident has won every major triathlon title and is one of the most successful athletes in the sport’s history. Whitfield has recorded 14 World Cup victories and eight top-10 finishes at the world championships.