Cherie Gruenfeld has embraced a life in sport and specifically in triathlon for three decades. Taking up the sport at the age of forty eight, earlier this month at seventy eight years of age, she became the oldest female ever to complete the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, her fourteenth World Title on the Big Island.
An incredible achievement for the author, advocate, coach and all round inspirational athlete who has achieved more in sport than many of us can only dream of. In addition to her fourteen IRONMAN World Champion titles, she is a four time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, a WTC Female Athlete of the Year, A multiple USA Triathlon Female Grandmaster of the Year, An Inductee to the USAT Hall of Fame and in 2020 was inducted into the Port Angeles High School Athletic Hall of Fame for her success in Badminton.
Cherie truly embraces the life of an athlete, living and breathing the sport of triathlon. When she is not training for her own races she is using her passion, dedication and commitment to triathlon to help change the lives of children in inner city San Bernardino in California. The Exceeding Expectations Foundation which Cherie founded has for 20 years been encouraging at-risk children to move their lives in a positive direction, using the sport of triathlon as the vehicle.
Cherie is softly spoken, yet her tenacity, courage and determination is stronger than many people half her age. She is a shining star in sport and in life, her age may be slowing her down physically in sport but her appetite for life and for success shows no signs of slowing down. She may have made her final appearance on the finish line in Kona in 2022, but we can expect to see her on plenty more finish lines before she stops racing altogether. This is a truly inspiring episode of the podcast and if you ever thought you couldn’t do something or that you are too old to try something new then, Cherie is the epitome of ‘you can do anything you set your mind to, you just have to give it a try’.