Podcast #7: Bahrain Endurance 13 Team

Sorry for the lack of podcast episodes! It’s midway through 2015 and this is our first one — hopefully not the last. I’ve been sitting on this interview for almost a month now. I sat down with Chris “Macca” McCormack while I was in Phuket in April to talk about their launch of the Bahrain Endurance Team.

Also on iTunes.

Granted it was right before dinner so we were interrupted and I didn’t get to ask him more questions. What he says in this interview reveals a lot of the inner workings of starting and managing a team, working with royalty, and the obstacles they had to hurdle to bring this to fruition. I hope you enjoy it!

Show Notes:

  • Who are the athletes in the Bahrain Endurance Team? (note: information may be outdated)
  • How did it all begin? Macca meeting Shaikh Nasser at Challenge Philippines and sharing a vision
  • What were the obstacles to launching the team?
  • What is the main vision of Bahrain Endurance Team?
  • Who is Shaikh Nasser and why would he fund a triathlon team?
  • How were these 13 athletes chosen? What went into the decision to approach them?
  • What is Macca’s role on the team?

Bahrain Endurance Team: Shaikh Nasser and Macca handshake
Shaikh Nasser shakes Macca’s hand (photo by Sascha Deforth)

Introducing the Bahrain Endurance Team vision

The vision behind the all-star line up of professional athletes comprising the Bahrain Endurance Team has been officially revealed today.

After much anticipation and speculation surrounding the announcement of the Bahrain Endurance 13, today its management revealed the grand design behind the team.

The Bahrain Endurance 13 is a pioneering vision unparalleled in endurance racing. With an all-star stable of athletes including Olympic medalists, world champions, and future stars, the Bahrain Endurance Team will race for key long-distance triathlon titles and promote a culture of health and wellness and endurance sporting excellence across the Gulf region and beyond.

Bahrain’s Prince, His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, is the driving force behind the project. As president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee he has been actively involved in promoting endurance sport in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Gulf region. The prince has been participating in endurance sport for many years and is an accomplished long-distance triathlete, leading his people by example. Based on this experience, H.H. Shaikh Nasser believes that through triathlon, people can enjoy a better life. He sees the attributes that successful endurance athletes possess — such as hard work, commitment, a structured life, and healthy living — as values he wants the people of Bahrain and the region to incorporate into their lives.

“Through this incredible group of athletes that makes up our team, we will all contribute to spreading the culture of triathlon and positive aspects of endurance sport,” H.H. Shaikh Nasser states.

There are thirteen athletes on the Bahrain Endurance 13 elite team, each chosen for their commitment to the team vision as well as their capability to mentor the next generation of grassroots Bahraini athletes. A further seven athletes have been appointed as part of the Bahrain Endurance Racing Team, including 4-time world champion Chris McCormack who has been appointed to manage the team and overall project.

McCormack states, “I am thankful for the trust His Highness Shaikh Nasser has placed in me. Having come through the ranks of the ITU system attempting to qualify for the Olympics as well as aiming for and winning world championships in short- and long-distance triathlon, I know first hand about the challenges our athletes face in terms of support as they aim for excellence on the world stage. I am also excited to help show young Bahraini athletes the pathways to success in endurance sport.”

The Bahrain Endurance Team sets a new standard not only in triathlon, but rivals sporting teams around the world. McCormack continues, “This is not just about triathlon, but about endurance racing in all its forms including marathon swimming, cycling, ultra marathons, and more. The Bahrain Endurance 13 counts among its members some of the world’s best athletes not just in triathlon, but in world sport.”

The full roster of athletes on the Bahrain Endurance 13 and Bahrain Endurance Racing Team will be announced over the course of this week, culminating this weekend when H. H. Shaikh Nasser participates alongside other members of Bahrain Endurance 13 at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca on May 9.

Bahrain Endurance Team: Javier Gomez
Javier Gomez (photo by Sascha Deforth)

About Bahrain Endurance Team

The Bahrain Endurance Team is an innovative concept unparalleled in endurance racing and is the vision of His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and president of the Bahrain Olympic committee. With an all-star stable of athletes including Olympic medalists, world champions, and future stars, the Bahrain Endurance Team will race for key long-distance triathlon titles and promote a culture of health and wellness and endurance sporting excellence across the Gulf region and beyond.

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