There are athletes, there are champions – and then there is Daniela Ryf, a dominating force in long-distance triathlon. After two decades of thrilling victories and awe-inspiring performances, the Swiss sensation has built a legacy that will be etched in the annals of the sport forever. Upon the announcement of her final race season, the Bahrain Victorious 13 team takes a moment to reflect on her remarkable journey.

From her debut over longer distances in 2014 where she went undefeated save for her maiden appearance at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii to winning the Ironman world title five times in the past 10 years, Ryf has become the epitome of excellence in the sport combining raw talent, relentless determination, and an unwavering work ethic, capturing the hearts of fans around the globe in the process.

In 2015 Ryf was announced for the inaugural roster of the Bahrain Victorious 13 team. She has conquered every race of consequence since, with a glittering list of accolades that may never be surpassed including the following:

  • the only athlete male or female to have twice held both Ironman 70.3 and Ironman world titles concurrently
  • the first female to win the Ironman 70.3 World Championship five times
  • joined the legendary ranks of Chrissie Wellington, Paula Newby-Fraser, Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, and Mark Allen with three consecutive wins in Kona, Hawaii
  • surpassed Chrissie Wellington by winning the Ironman World Championship five times to rank second only to Paula Newby-Fraser
  • the only athlete ever to win the historic million-dollar prize from the Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown series
  • smashed the long-standing best time over the full triathlon distance, bettering the 12-year record by nearly 10 minutes with a time of 8:08:21 at the 2023 Challenge Roth

With every triumph Ryf seemed to defy the laws of physics, pushing her body to its limits and beyond in pursuit of her full potential. And now she is bidding farewell on her own terms.

“After many years of focus and dedication to this sport, it is time for me to turn over a new leaf. I can proudly say that I have achieved everything I have ever dreamed of. With the tenth World Championship title in 2021 and the world record last year, I have crowned my greatest successes. Retiring a year after these milestones is a nice way for me to finish,” Ryf says.

“It’s time for something new. I loved getting the best out of myself each time. And I am incredibly grateful for what I have been able to experience and achieve. I’ve met great people and made friends for life. This sport has given and taught me so much.”

Her final season will include the new PTO (Professional Triathletes Organization)T100 world championship series as well as the Ironman World Championship in Nice, France. She will step onto the starting line this weekend in Miami with fellow team members Kat Matthews and Alistair Brownlee  for the first of the T100 tour races.