‘Be patient’: Nicholas Quenet’s triathlete trail

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Sport, Triathlon

Photo source: Nicholas Quenet 

Nicholas Quenet’s journey as a South African triathlete is a testament to perseverance, dedication, and a deep love for the sport. From his early days as an elite swimmer to becoming a professional triathlete and coach, Quenet’s path has been marked by challenges, triumphs, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

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“I started out as an elite swimmer and then eventually took the jump at 17 to move to triathlon fully. I went pro after receiving my degrees at Stellenbosch University.”

One of the most striking aspects of Quenet’s journey is his humility and gratitude, evident in his approach to both victories and setbacks. He emphasizes that each race, good or bad, holds its own significance and teaches valuable lessons.

“I don’t like to choose one certain race or moment. For me, each race carries its own significance in its own way. My bad/horrible days I am weirdly just as thankful for. Anytime I can represent my country would certainly be a highlight for me!”

Despite the financial challenges faced by many South African athletes, Quenet managed to navigate this terrain through hard work, support from his family, and a determination to succeed.

“Financially it is incredibly tough and then being a South African with a poor currency and needing to race internationally makes it even more difficult. I had to work my first year as an accountant to help fund my trips. I also received support from my parents. Now I live off prize money, performance bonuses and running my own coaching company; RAD Endurance.”

As Quenet reflects on his career, he acknowledges the lack of role models in his early years but is committed to being an approachable figure for athletes of all levels.

“I never had role models to look up to as a youngster and seeing the infrastructure they have in foreign countries – I have made a vow to myself. To always be approachable for all levels of abilities and ages, and being willing to provide all the experience I have learned over the years.”

The journey hasn’t been without hurdles, including injuries and heart surgery in 2019 that transformed him both on and off the field. However, Quenet’s resilience shines through as he continues to push boundaries and inspire others to pursue their dreams with patience and determination.

“These lessons always came with setbacks and not wins. Injuries are at the top of this list without a doubt. But I underwent heart surgery in 2019 and that made me a different person both on and off the sporting field.”

Looking ahead, Quenet’s vision extends beyond personal accolades. He envisions a nurturing environment for young athletes, encouraging a balanced approach that prioritizes education alongside athletic pursuits.

“I would like there to be more of a nurturing mindset towards athletes finishing off their school days. I would like there to be an encouragement that this is an endurance sport and that studies are encouraged before going professional.”

Ultimately, Nicholas Quenet’s legacy extends far beyond race results. He aspires to be remembered not just as a successful athlete but as a person of integrity, kindness, and a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I want to be remembered as that guy that never lost his principles and core morals. The guy that never changed when fame came. The guy that can always be approached and would always make time for anyone who wanted my time. My races and results and accolades will be forgotten quickly, but who I am and how I behaved and reacted to upsets and milestones will forever live in people’s minds.”

Nicholas Quenet’s journey as a South African triathlete reflects not just his athletic prowess but also his resilience in navigating financial challenges. From working as an accountant to funding his trips to living off prize money and coaching, Quenet’s journey is defined by his resourcefulness and determination.

“Be patient. Ensure this is what you really want and if so, never stop dreaming.”

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