Battling heat, humidity and 49 of the best Olympic-distance triathletes in the world, Blummenfelt delivered a gutsy performance with an all-out attack in the final kilometer to earn the win in Japan. His victory marked the first Olympic gold medal for Norway since the 2012 London Olympics.
A decade ago, Blummenfelt made it his goal to win gold in Tokyo. As he stood on the pontoon in Japan, before the start of the swim, he expected nothing less than a win. “I wanted a medal, obviously I preferred the gold medal,” he said. “Everything else I would have been disappointed with.”
Much of that confidence came down to preparation. At the start of this year, Blummenfelt teamed up with CADEX to help elevate his performance on the bike. Following a year in which most major triathlons were cancelled due to the global pandemic, Blummenfelt emerged year as one of the top contenders for the Olympic Games—which had been pushed from 2020 to 2021. He had a new bike set up with a CADEX WheelSystem and tires to give him a competitive edge.
For draft-legal racing, Blummenfelt typically chooses a CADEX Road WheelSystem combining an ultra-aero 65mm deep rear rim profile and the versatile 42mm front wheel. The wheels feature composite hookless rims created with a continuous carbon fiber structure. Custom-calibrated carbon spokes with Dynamic Balanced Lacing help further reduce weight and improve power transfer. This setup, paired with CADEX Race 25mm tubeless tires, delivers the perfect balance of aerodynamics, efficiency and control.
In May, Blummenfelt rode his new CADEX wheels to the win at the World Triathlon Championship Series opener in Yokohama, Japan—an event that was considered by many to be a preview of the upcoming Olympic race. One week later, he triumphed again at a World Triathlon Cup race in Portugal.
After such a long time away from racing, Blummenfelt was smooth and confident on his new Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc bike. Final preparations for Tokyo took place in the high mountains of Sierra Nevada, Spain, and Font Romeau, France. Blummenfelt went there to work with a team of sports scientists.
“I would say I’ve always been willing to put in the extra work,” Blummenfelt said. “Because I didn’t get the big results at a young age, I thought if I didn’t have the talent to become one of the best I really have to work harder. Training hard, pushing myself every day is what I love doing.”
That love of digging deep was on full display at the Tokyo Games. Coming off a tough swim, Blummenfelt hit the bike leg in 26th place. He began making his way up through the pack, surging all the way up to 8th place by T2 and hitting the run 23 seconds behind race leader Andreas Salvisberg of Switzerland.
Ahead of him were competitors known for their running strength, including eventual silver medal winner Alex Yee of Great Britain. But Blummenfelt began picking them off one by one. In the final kilometer, it came down to a battle between Blummenfelt, Yee and New Zealander Hayden Wilde. The Norwegian knew the only way to beat the two men known for their running speed was to escape before the finishing kick.
“I don’t really have the leg speed if it came down the carpet against these guys,” Blummenfelt told Reuters after the finish. “So I knew I had to drag it out from about five minutes away and go really, really hard and all out—and hopefully it would be enough to break them.”
Blummenfelt poured it on, a full sprint to gap Yee and Wilde, who were left to fight for silver and bronze. Once they were gone, the Norwegian was able to absorb the moment he had envisioned over the past decade plus—racing to Olympic glory on the blue carpet finishing stretch. Crossing the line, he let out a roar, grasped the finish-line tape, and collapsed.
“It’s the moment I’ve been dreaming about for so many years,” Blummenfelt said. “Seeing the finish line and the blue carpet and touching that tape—to be able to put it together on the day is something I’m really proud of.”