Chrissie won her first iron distance triathlon in 2007 in Korea. That inspired her to victory in her first World Ironman Championships also in 2007, repeating her win in emphatic fashion in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Chrissie was ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion in Almere in 2008 and has smiled her way to first place in every single Iron-distance race she has entered. Chrissie also holds the world record for the fastest time in an iron distance event of 8 hours 18 minutes 13 seconds.
Chrissie was crowned the 'The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year' in 2009 and was awarded an MBE in the Queens Honours list in 2010.
British Triathlon President, Dr Sarah Springman CBE commented on Chrissie’s exceptional career: “Chrissie is absolutely unique. She has not just torn up and then rewritten the record books; she has created a paradigm change in our sport over the longer distance triathlon events and in the way in which she has engaged with the world through her wonderful, smiling personality and her intelligence.
“It is almost unheard of, in the modern sporting era, that an athlete can remain wholly undefeated around the world at a chosen event and then know when the time is right to retire. I am delighted for Chrissie and yet will miss the frisson of excitement that she brings to racing wherever that may be. All at British Triathlon wish her well and look forward to working together with her in the future.”
Chrissie issued the following statement: "Over the past 12 months, I have had time to reflect and think, about my past and, of course, also of my future. Being a professional ironman athlete has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined, and been so fortunate to travel to some beautiful places, compete against the best in the world, and forge many lasting friendships. Those life-changing experiences and memories will stay with me forever.
“As an athlete, I sought 'the perfect race'. That race within myself where I dug to the depths mentally and physically, and that hard-fought race with my competitors. The World Ironman Championships in 2011 was the icing on the cake for me as an athlete. It was my 'perfect race' and it 'completed' me.
“My passion for the sport hasn't waned, but my passion for new experiences and new challenges is what is now burning the most brightly. Hence, I have got to the point where I know that it is right for me to retire from professional ironman distance racing. Needless to say this decision has not come easy, but deep in my heart I know it is the right thing for me to do. My future will, of course, involve sport and triathlon - but it will no longer be the axis around which my entire life revolves.
“In the past year, since I won the World Ironman Championships, I've thoroughly enjoyed being able to dedicate myself to other aspects of my life, including charity work, public speaking, policy development, and of course publishing and promoting my autobiography, 'A Life Without Limits'. I will keep everyone updated on my future plans via my website - www.chrissiewellington.org
and twitter - @chrissiesmiles
“Of course I could not have achieved what I have without the unwavering support of so many people - my family and friends, my manager Ben and the Wasserman team, my wonderful, wonderful sponsors who have enabled me to make my passion my career, the race organisers, my fellow pro athletes, the media who have given me such an amazing platform, the volunteers and all the thousands of age groupers around the world.
“I will continue to act as an ambassador for a number of my sponsors. Their support for me has been incredible.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person that has been part of my ironman journey, and wish you all the very best for the 2013 season and beyond."