Alistair is the only triathlete to have won two Olympic gold medals. He has been to three Olympic Games, winning gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016. He’s also won world, European and Commonwealth gold medals. He is based at the Leeds Triathlon Performance Centre.
The older of the Brownlee Brothers, Alistair became the first British triathlete to win an Olympic medal since the sport was introduced to the Games in Sydney 2000. Alistair's younger brother Jonathan won the bronze medal in London, and a silver medal in Rio.
He has twice won the ITU World title (2009 and 2011) and has twice won the ITU Mixed Team Relay world title (2011 and 2014). He also won the European title (2010, 2011 & 2014) won the individual and mixed relay titles at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Now also competing over middle distance, Alistair finished second at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in 2018 (1900m swim, 56mile bike, 13.1mile run).
Alistair was introduced to triathlon by his uncle, Simon Hearnshaw. As a junior, he was a successful fell and cross-country runner, coming second in the English Junior Cross Country Championships and winning the Yorkshire County title on several occasions.
Born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, Alistair was educated at Bradford Grammar School. He began a degree in medicine at Girton College, Cambridge, but left in 2006 to focus on triathlon and study for a degree in Physiology and Sport at the University of Leeds. He has also completed an MSc in finance at Leeds Metropolitan University and received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Leeds in 2013.
Alistair is the only triathelte in history to have won two Olympic gold medals
Alistair showed his potential at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Aged just 20, he was up with the leaders until the final 3km of the race. He finished 12th and the following year was the most dominant athlete in the world, winning all five of the World Triathlon Series rounds that he took part in and lifting the ITU world title in Australia.
In doing so, he became the first person to win the ITU Triathlon World Championship titles for Junior (2006), Under 23 (2008) and Senior (2009).
In February 2010 Brownlee was diagnosed with a left leg femoral stress fracture. He announced his full recovery with a win at the ITU World Championship Series Madrid in June and then convincingly won the European title in Athlone, Ireland. In early 2011 he had another stress fracture but went on to win the ITU World title. In Feb 2012 he suffered an Achilles tear, which delayed the start to his race season.
Following surgery on his ankle in August 2015, he returned with wins in the Leeds and Stockholm legs of the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series and won Olympic gold in Rio - becoming the first person ever to retain an Olympic triathlon title. He then went to the ITU World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico, where he famously helped brother, Jonathan, complete the race after he suffered heat exhaustion.
In 2017, Alistair successfully tested himself over middle distance triathlon as part of his long-term goal to win the IRONMAN world championship. In his Ironman 70.3 debut, he won the North American Pro Championship in St. George in a time of 3:41:58, which was a course record. This qualified him for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, but he did not take part due to having surgery on a hip injury. A year later he again qualified and finished second to Jan Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic Champion.