Erin Jones: her inspiring journey to become a world-class athlete

WE TALK to Erin Jones about her successes as a professional triathlete and her aims and ambitions for the future.

Erin Jones

Erin Jones is an American professional triathlete who is currently training at the Olympic Training Center.


ERIN JONES has been competing in triathlons for four years. She’s been active in several sports from a young age and with a lot of hard work and constant encouragement from her father today trains at the Olympic Training Center. With an impressive list of triathlon accomplishments already on her CV she is committed to achieving much more in the years ahead. 


In this exclusive interview Erin talks about her biggest successes in the sport to date as well as her motivation and determination to make it to Tokyo 2020 after just missing out on a place at the Olympics in Rio this summer. Read on to find out her message to those inspired by her long list of sporting accomplishments and who has been her own biggest inspiration along the way.


To find out more about Erin and her passion for triathlon go to www.erinjonestri.com.


When did you start out in triathlon and what had been any previous sporting successes you had?


I started doing triathlons professionally four years ago in 2012. I grew up swimming on a local club team and started to run in high school. I was a four-year state letterman in cross-country, swimming, and track. I found triathlons in high school as something fun to do in the summertime. There wasn’t triathlon as an NCAA sport yet, so I decided to run Division 1 Cross-Country and Track for Oregon State University. I was top five and a honorable mention for three years.


My junior year I got the opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center and it was something I couldn’t pass up. They developed me into a world class athlete.


Who have been your biggest mentors and inspirations during your triathlon career?


I’ve met a lot of inspirational people on this crazy journey especially training at the Olympic Training Center. There are so many athletes, coaches, staff members, teammates and friends who have touc my heart every day who I would love to thank for my development and success.


My number one mentor has been my dad, Tony Jones. He has been my rock throughout my whole life. He has pushed me to be the best athlete, and more importantly human being I can be. After my mum died, he really encouraged me to chase my crazy dream of being a professional athlete and one day qualifying for the Olympics. He tries to travel to all my races when he can. I know I wouldn’t be here without him. I love my family so much.


Having only just missed out on a place at Rio, Erin is now focussed on getting to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Having only just missed out on a place at Rio, Erin is now focussed on getting to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.


What have been your biggest triathlon successes to date?


Some of my achievements include fifth and seventh American at two Olympic Trial Events; 2016, Pan American Team USA Mixed Relay Champions; 2015, World Championship team member; 2015m Super Sprint National Champion; 2015, selected for the Pan American Games; 2015, Champion Punta Guilarte, Puerto Rico Continental Cup; 2014, bronze medalist at the Under 23 World Championships; 2014, silver medalist at the USA Sprint Championships; two-time U23 World Team member; two-time Under 23 National Champion; 2013 and 2014, USA Triathlon Under 23 Athlete of the Year; and 2013, Collegiate National Champion.


In which area of triathlon do you excel at and where do you have to work the hardest?


I probably excel the most in swimming. I find it exhilarating to line up with all the best women and go head-to-head with them on the line.


I am continually working on my running. You can’t lose the race on the swim or the bike, but you can lose it on the run. That is where the race is won and lost. The women today in triathlon are speedy and continue to get faster.


Will you be competing at Rio and how hard have you been training to get there?


I have been training for the last four years for Rio. It’s not something that happens overnight. I put a lot of time and effort into the process. It was my first time training for an ‘Olympic quad’. Unfortunately I won’t be on the team for Rio. I put myself out there. I was fifth american in our first Rio Test Event and seventh American at our second selection event. I learned a lot that I will also take with me for the next ‘Olympic quad’. I hope to be in Tokyo 2020.


USA Triathlon took the top three athletes. I was not one. However, Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah True, and Katie Zarferes are the three women to qualify and I know they will be the best to represent Team USA in Rio. I’m so happy for them and honoured to have the opportunity to compete for the Olympic spot. I will continue to train for the World Championships at the end of the year.



What words of advice do you have for anyone, especially women, who are inspired and motivated by your sporting accomplishments?


My words of advice are to have fun with life. Don’t take anything to seriously. Train because you love being outside, riding your bike, chasing butterflies, swimming with your kids, being able to eat whatever you want etc. Always find joy in the little things. You only have one life to live. When you go to races take advantage of the travel, site see, take photos, make memories. Remember that this life is beautiful and so are you.

Reader Comments

Share This Article