Sweidish triathlete Lisa Norden is at the top of her game. Having always enjoyed some form of success throughout her career, no year has been more of a success for the young athlete than 2012. Topping off her year (and admittedly her career ) Norden’s biggest accomplishment came in London at the 2012 Olympic Games where she earned the silver medal in the women’s triathlon. Norden and Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig raced to a photo finish in one of the most exciting finishes in triathlon history. While both athletes finished with the same time, the nod was given to Spirig who appeared to have just a slight advantage in the photo. Norden was still overjoyed with her Olympic silver medal.
Since her performance in London, Norden has won several events, including defending her 2011 HyVee Triathlon title in Des Moines, Iowa – a race regarded as the richest purse in international triathlon competition.
When she’s not crushing the competition on the course, Norden is an avid coffee drinker and enjoys photography. Norden grew up riding horses and credits her mother for instilling her successful attitude and drive into her as a child.
With so much success at a young point in her booming career, Norden is someone you should definitely keep your eye on in the upcoming years.
Q & A
When did you first start training in life? Where and why?
I always lived a very active life with my parents training and making sure a lot of our life was spent outdoors. My first sport wasn’t actually triathlon, but I was a keen horse rider from age 5. I competed on a national level back in Sweden, but always struggled to keep up due to the crazy financial support needed to make it to the top. I picked up triathlon after a holiday ride to Italy with my mum. After 19 days in the saddle I figured I could finish a triathlon too... By that time I was already 16 years old, and I couldn’t do a single stroke of free style swimming...
One sport wasn’t enough? What got you into the multi-sport arena?
Well, I guess coming from horse riding and eventing... I was already used to having a lot of different disciplines to focus on. I liked the challenge that three sports linked together offered. I enjoyed cycling, I've always been a keen runner - and the swim provided me with an additional level of challenge. Could I do it? Could I learn to swim as a relatively grown up person?
When did you turn pro?
I guess you could say 2006 was the main year for me. Towards the end of that year I was debating packing my bags to go home and get an education. In pretty much the same week I received a scholarship from the International Triathlon Union - and got picked for the Swedish Olympic Program. It changed the world for me and allowed me to give the sport a 100% effort to make it.
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
There is no way I could bypass the Olympic medal in London. It has no doubt been the biggest achievement in my life. The whole craziness that followed directly after the event in London - then the continuation back home in Sweden. The second best memory... the WTS win in Stockholm three weeks after!
What is your best discipline and why?
My ability to run well off a stupidly hard bike. If that classifies as a discipline...
If you had a discipline that needed work, which would it be and why?
I’m still working on improving my swim stroke. Every year my swimming gets better, faster times in the pool and better endurance throughout the races. But as I said...work in progress.
Your favorite distance?
Must admit the Olympic distance is where my heart is really at right now. It’s such a beautiful combination of endurance and speed
Preferred race day outfit:
Woah, I’d love to race in one of those cool tennis dresses! But I guess it wouldn’t really be practical in the swim... So I’d say anything in Swedish colors.
If there is one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
The big smile
Who was your inspiration growing up:
Within your sport: Vanessa fernandes and Emma Snowsill where the ONES when I started Outside your sport: My mum
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
My mum always told me I could do anything I wanted, as long as I was prepared to work really really hard for it. She has always been very supportive, within reasons, to help me achieve what I set out
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
Not really actually, I was always one of those good girls in school that do exactly what you’ve been told to do... But mix that with loads of competitiveness - and you probably have a coaches dream.
What is your favorite course?
I love the Hamburg course. The way you get so close to the crowd and how it has various opportunities to create stuff out on the bike course.
What is the venue that you purely dread and why?
Any plain course with no real challenges. Makes up for boring races and too big of a pack. Not a favorite of mine...
Finish this sentence: “Oakley is ________”
a part of my racing identity.
If you weren’t killing it in the tri scene, what would you be doing for a living?
When I was little I wanted to be either a princess or an airhostess as a grown up. I’d probably more likely have ended up as an engineer slaving away in an office somewhere.
What is a hidden talent you have other than your sport?
I’m a mean bugger with a sourdough starter. Love baking my own breads.
What is the best song to practice to?
Pink and Eminen are some old friends on my playlists. Always works though.
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
want to open my own coffee shop/bakery one day. Venue still to be decided on.
A: involves a pretty dress and nice food. (Lycra and powerbars are banned!)
still waiting for Mr Gosling to knock on my door
Vacation Spot: Caribbean beach
Music Genre:Sadly any hit radio station seems to be the most played in my life
One word Association: