Dirk is an ex-professional triathlete from Luxembourg who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was the first athlete from Luxembourg to ever win an Ironman race. He talks to Sundried about life as a professional triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes. Even at the young age of 6 I did my first baby competition.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
My running coach was a triathlete. He gave me his old bike and taught me how to swim. He has been my mentor for many years. He recently passed away but I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to the world of triathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favorite race is Challenge Roth in Germany. It is the biggest race in the world and has over 260,000 spectators. Back in 2013, I won the race that I used to watch as a junior. I return every year and help with organisation.
And your proudest achievement?
There are so many to choose from! Triathlon has given me so much happiness. Of course, most of my races are very special but the international championships and the Olympics definitely left a mark. Also, to become Sportsman of the Year in my small country of Luxembourg in 2013 was an amazing achievement in my career.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Of course, in professional sports there are good days and bad days. I definitely messed up some races and my biggest regret is getting injured right before the World Championships in 2016. It would have been my year… but my injury was severe and eventually career-ending.
For sure, the toughest race in the year is the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks are challenges and I try to find the solution to the problem. You learn from mistakes and setbacks and they help you in future races. You go through so many ups and downs that you learn to deal with them.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I have always been given good advice, but in my younger years I was just happy to be part of the triathlon world instead of focusing on results. I probably wasted some racing seasons during my 27-year triathlon career but overall I’m pretty happy.
What are your goals for 2019 and 2020?
I have lots of goals for the future. I just climbed Mont Blanc and now I'm looking for my next challenge.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from within. It is just there, I have no idea why. It makes me happy to share this passion with other people.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the uniqueness of the kit. I am just about to try the new collection and I will let you know what I think!