Just a few days after the Tokyo Olympics, Nicola Spirig had her sights set on the next goal: a world record attempt over the full Ironman distance, the Pho3nix Sub8 in Dresden in June 2022. A new and challenging project to end her career. It was only the second full Ironman distance of her career, and she finished it with flying colors in 7:34:22. Spirig then competed in triathlons in Zurich and Locarno, as well as two PTO events, before bidding her career farewell at the Greifenseelauf on September 17 with a personal best in the half marathon.

2019 - 2021

2021: The Tokyo Olympics

For the second straight year, the global covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on Triathlon’s competition calendar, resulting in several cancellations and postponements. The year was highlighted by the (formerly postponed) 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, which took place in July and August. Taking part in her fifth Olympic games, Nicola earned two Olympic diplomas with a sixth-place finish in the individual race and seventh-place finish in the team competition.

2020: A pandemic, lockdown and postponement of the Olympic Games

In 2020, Nicola started the season promisingly with a victory at the Half Ironman in Israel. Then things turned out differently: a pandemic, lockdown, no training opportunities, no competitions, and Nicola crashed her bike, suffering a fracture of the radial head in her elbow. The Olympic Games were postponed, new perspectives had to be created. Spirig decided to continue her career until 2021 and was subsequently able to participate in nine more competitions.

2019: A family of five and the qualification for the fifth Olympic Games

On 11 April 2019, Nicola’s third child, little Alexis, was born. The whole family is looking forward to the time as a family of five. Nicola’s goal this year is to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

2017 - 2018

2018: Sixth European Championship Title

In 2018 Nicola competed in 13 races and all of them were extremely successful. The 2012 Olympic Champion won her sixth European Championship title as well as the silver medal in the team relay in Glasgow. Only a few days later Nicola won the World Cup race in front of her home crowd in Lausanne. After the race on August 25th at the ITU World Triathlon Series in Montreal (fifth place) Nicola finished her season. She is expecting her third child in April 2019.

2017: A family of four

Yannis, Reto and Nicola welcome Malea Lexi to the family. She is born on May 20 at 13:26 in the hospital of Bülach – healthy and full of energy.

2015 - 2016

2016: Silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio

After the mass pile-up in March and multiple fracture of her left hand: Nicola fights back. The amount of exercise, the training methods – everything has to be adapted. A mentally difficult time for the Olympic champion. But Nicola grows on the challenge. Her coach says: She is in top form, better than ever! August 20, 2016: Nicola is ready. She swims better than ever, dominates and dictates the race on the entire bike course and provides a run spectacle with the later winner Gwen Jorgensen that – after London 2012, the closest finish in Olympic history – remains unforgotten. After gold in London, silver in Rio.

2016: Crash in Abu Dhabi

Altitude training in St. Moritz and two training camps in Gran Canaria. Nicola is in top form. The first competition of the ITU World Series takes place in March in Abu Dhabi. There is a mass pile-up on the bike circuit. Nicola has to abandon the race: The metacarpal bones in her left hand are broken in several places. A surgery and reduced training over the course of many weeks. The way to Rio must be rewritten. The goal remains – be in the best shape as possible on the 20. August 2016 – the start of the Olympic Games Triathlon race.

2015: Two victories, one pattern

One year before the Olympic Games and the goals for 2015 are clear; the first European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan) and the home European Championships in Geneva. A victory in Baku would secure Nicola her qualifying place for Rio 2016 in advance – as the first Swiss athlete. Following the same pattern as before, she wins her fifth European championship title in Baku. Behind out of the water, racing to catch up on the bike and extending her dominance on the running track means securing a victory with a one-minute lead.

2013 - 2014

2014: The fourth European Championship title – Marathon European Championships – Ironman win

First triathlon – and now the marathon: 2:42:53 – Nicola makes the qualifiers for the European Athletics Championships in 2014 in her own country. In Zurich at the European Championships, she runs the marathon in 2:37:12.
Two months later she is crowned Triathlon European champion in Austria’s Kitzbühel – for the fourth time. In autumn, she takes up long-distance – in Mexico’s Cozumel, she secures her first Ironman victory.

2013: Nicolas private happiness

Olympic champion, Sportswoman of the Year. After Nicola’s sporting highlights, the year 2013 is dedicated to love. At the end of 2012, she marries her sparring partner, the ex-professional triathlete Reto Hug. And in spring her son Yannis is born. Yannis is Nicola’s new training companion – for the time being in the Baby-Jogger.

2011- 2012

2012: A dream come true

London, August 2012 – the closest final in Olympic history: after years of preparation and thousands of training hours, Nicola claims the Olympic victory. In a riveting final spurt, Nicola and her Swedish competitor Lisa Nordén arrive at the finish line at almost the same time. Nicola, however, finds her way to the front. The photograph of the finish shows in favor of the Swiss competitor.

In the same year, Nicola is awarded the honor of «Sportswoman of the Year» at the Swiss TV gala.

2012: The path to the third Olympic Games

For Nicola, the Olympic season starts with a bang at the European championships in Israel: for the third time she is crowned European champion – her third victory in a period of 4 years.

2011: Injury misfortune

The preparations for the Olympic Games in London are underway. Though, the training program has to be adjusted. Nicola’s training is reduced due to a stress fracture in the shin. Thanks to good medical care and the support of her partner and family, Nicola is able to overcome the injury very quickly.

2009 - 2010

2010: Graduation

Another string to her bow aside from her sporting career: After two interruptions before the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, Nicola successfully graduates in 2010 with a degree in law (Liz. I and Liz. II) with magna cum laude.

2010: The second title as European champion

The goal: To defend her title as the triathlon European champion from the year before. Nicola succeeds in doing so. In Athlone, Ireland, she is awarded the title of European champion for a second time. On top of that, she manages to secure the title as triathlon vice world-champion in the same year.

2009: The triathlon European champion

A new Olympic cycle and she’s off to a flying start. One year after Beijing 2008, Nicola overcomes her strong competition at the European championships in Holten (NL) and wins her first title as European champion.

2006 - 2008

2008: The Olympic flame in Beijing

At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Nicola is one of the general favorites in the triathlon. With a time of 2:00:30, she asserts her leading position amongst the world’s elite and is awarded a certificate for 6th place.

2008: The second World Cup win in Kitzbühel

A couple of months after her first triathlon win at the World Cup in Eilat, Nicola once again stands on the very top of the podium. The next Olympic Games are around the corner and Nicola is on her best form.

2007: Establishing herself amongst the world’s elite

In 2007 Nicola makes the jump to the world’s elite performers, the strongest class of athletes. She wins her first bronze medal at the European Championships in Copenhagen and in the same year celebrates her first triathlon win at the World Cup in Eilat. The next career highlight follows in the same year – she wins her first Ironman 70.3 at her home race in Rapperswil.

2006: A change of coach

The course is set for a successful career. Nicola and her father Sepp, who had coached her so far, did a great job. She can only make her way to the top by training with an international group – and this she achieves with the successful coach Brett Sutton. He challenges her and supports her – and drives her to excel.

2001 - 2005

2004: The first Olympic Games

Summer 2004, Athens. Nicola’s first Olympic Games. She is 22 years old, straight out of the junior category and unbelievably motivated. In spite of a shin injury Nicola suffered in the months before the Olympic Games, she finishes the race in 19th place.

2001: Newcomer of the year – focus on triathlon

In 2001, after a second and a third place the years before, Nicola becomes the junior world champion in triathlon. Her sporting achievements are topped off with the award for Newcomer of the Year in December 2001. Nicola advances par excellence as a triathlete hopeful. In the same year, Nicola breaks the junior Swiss 10 000m track record with a time of 35:05:87.

1993 - 2000

1999 – 2000: First international success

At the age of 17 Nicola becomes Junior Duathlon- and Triathlon European Champion, wins the silver medal at the Junior Cross Country Run European Championships and the silver medal at the Junior World Triathlon Championships. One year later she becomes Junior World Champion in Duathlon, won the bronze medal at the Junior Triathlon World Championships and the silver medal at the Junior Cross Country Run European Championships.

1993: The silent helper

At the early age of 11 years, Nicola gets her own bike mechanic, Harry Hossli. At the age of 12, she is given her first sponsored bicycle by the bike center «Vögeli». Hossli is also there to repair and look after the bike’s maintenance. Today, Harry Hossli is the owner of «Krauer’s Radstudio» (bicycle studio), and still today puts her new bicycles together and keeps them in top condition. In her 23 years of competing, Nicola has never had a single bicycle breakdown.

1982 - 1992

1992: The first triathlon

At her first competition experience at the Volksbank race, Nicola wins the regional qualifiers in Neuhausen as a first grader. In 1992, she completes her first school triathlon at the Egelsee in Bubikon. Wearing the race number 13, she comes into 2nd place behind a competitor two years her senior – she proceeds to win all school triathlons that follow. The course is set for a successful career ahead.

1988: Schooling

Nicola takes advantage of many opportunities: Joining the girls basketball team in the town of Winkel, swimming in the Kloten swimming club, cycling and running with her father, playing tennis – for Nicola, sport plays a part in every day life. In winter, the family spend a lot of time in their vacation home.

1982: The first steps

Nicola is the youngest of the three Spirig kids. Nicola’s siblings Kathrin and Thomas are role models who intellecutally and physically challenge and encourage Nicola. Her parents are both sports teachers and sport in every form plays a big role in this family’s program. Nicola grew up in Winkel in the area of Bülach, situated directly next to a forest, a great outdoor playground. Their holiday home is 1600m high in Bad Ragaz/Pizol, where activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking and ski tours are on offer.