Andrew Johns represented the U.K. at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. Johns was born in Peterborough, U.K., but grew up in Brisbane, Queensland.
He was a talented Volleyball player before taking up triathlons in the early 1990s. The Olympic distance triathlon consists of a 1.5km open water swim followed by a 40km bike, then a 10k run.
At the Sydney Olympics, Triathlon made its Olympic
debut. With the amazing backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the elite men's field started the race in Sydney Harbour. Johns was chasing after the swim but with an outstanding bike leg caught the leaders and entered the run in the lead.
With high hopes, the World Cup champion of 1998 and 2000 and European champion in 1998 and 2000 started strong but soon faltered in the run and was unable to finish the race.
Four years later in Athens, despite his domination on the world circuit, Johns finished 16th.
Johns disappointments at the Olympic highlights the cut-throat equation of the Olympics: Peaking on one day of the year once every four years. Johns' talent had been seen on the world stage over a ten year period.
But it all comes down to a delicate mix of talent and providence to make it happen on the Olympic world stage.
Since his retirement, Johns has been involved with various business ventures and now lives in Switzerland with his family. Johns' event, the men's Triathlon, will take place at Hyde Park on Tuesday 7th August.
July 27 – August 12 we will examine some of the sporting greats that have made the Olympics so special for many.