As one of the inaugural athletes on the Bahrain Endurance 13 roster, Terenzo Bozzone has had the team’s backing through thick and thin. The Kiwi athlete has had a rollercoaster few years, from the high of winning three Ironman 70.3 races on consecutive weekends, recording his first sub-8 hour Ironman finish at Ironman Western Australia and finally winning his hometown Ironman New Zealand into the low of a traumatic bike accident that derailed his planned bid for an Ironman world title. Last year would have been his comeback — until his Achilles tendon flared up.
At the beginning of 2020 the situation was looking up, with his health and fitness finally back on track. But this time it was the sports calendar that went on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic in over more than 170 countries, even leading to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
“As much as I want to get going and get back racing, get life back to normal, the main priority in the world at the moment is for people to get back healthy and society to get back to a sense of normality,” says Terenzo.
New Zealand has been one of the countries more successful in combating the spread of the novel coronavirus within its borders, with the potential of eliminating the virus altogether. Terenzo adds, “I guess for me I’m just thankful that I have my family and everyone in my corner to be here, be all together working through this and getting through this time. In New Zealand while the lockdown restrictions are quite tight, people are allowed to get outside, do a little bit of exercise outside which is a lot more than folks in Spain can do. So, grateful for that.”
For Terenzo, family is a massive driving force and support system as he continues on his career as a professional athlete. He admits, “At times it’s pretty hard; I can imagine it’s hard for them to put up with grumpy me when I get home from a long workout or when training hasn’t gone so well. And I’m very fortunate my wife always understands that a midday nap for me is high on the must-have list.
“It’s also really exciting having two young kids and knowing you can help mold them. And that’s what kind of inspires me when I’m having a really hard time or things are really tough, I want to teach my kids that persevering through those tough times and when you can work hard and put your mind towards something, then you can achieve anything.”
After 21 years in the sport, the five-time world champion (twice for junior duathlon, twice for junior triathlon, and the 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion) believes he has still more to accomplish. “During the journey the last couple of years with the hairy patches, I remember vividly waking up in the hospital after getting knocked off my bike and saying to myself, ‘If ever there was a reason I needed to get out of the sport and look at the next chapter of my life, this would be a great excuse.’ Tell you what, I did not sit on that topic for very long. Actually, immediately I said, ‘No. I still have unfinished business in the sport.’
“I still want to get to the top of the podium in Kona. And I still love the journey I get to go on as a professional athlete, and the journeys I get to take my family on. That’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to that journey progressing to something special in the next couple of years.”
With continued support from Bahrain Endurance 13, Terenzo will be poised to roar back into action once racing resumes around the world.