Age-Group Ambassador Christodoulou’s Inspirational Story Continues in Sunderland


Yiannis Christodoulou was named one of the first ever Yellow Jersey British Triathlon Age-Group Ambassadors earlier this year and hopes to use his platform to inspire others, with his own unique story.

He said: “It's amazing to be picked as an Age-Group Ambassador, it’s a huge privilege and I feel really honoured. I am hoping I am doing well for the role.

“When I first started triathlon, I set up my social media, I was hoping to inspire people on the way so to get the ambassadorship was really amazing.

“I interact with a lot of people, I go to schools and local clubs, with my medals, hoping to inspire them. To show them you can do this, it doesn’t matter what your background is you can do it and you never know how far you can go. That’s what it was about in the first place, to show you didn’t  have to be the best at something, you can come from nothing as long as you’re enjoying it.”

Back in 2012, it was Christodoulou who was being inspired to take on swim, bike, run for the very first time.

“In 2012 there was a buzz from the Olympics, and I came back from work, and it just happened to be the triathlon that was on the TV with the Brownlee brothers, and I thought ‘wow this looks really hard but quite fun, maybe I should give it a go’, and the whole Olympics inspired me to start doing something.

“So, I ended up joining my local running club, where I’m now a coach, and then I decided to start swimming. I couldn’t swim. I did six lengths of a 33m pool, and it took me an hour to do it. I was absolutely knackered and then eventually I started learning a bit more.”

He never looked back and, despite two major injuries that cost him almost a year’s training, he went onto become a European Champion and a multiple British Champion in aquathlon. Not content with that success, Christodoulou turned his focus to swim, bike, run and competed in both the World and European Sprint Triathlon Championships.

Originally he planned not to compete this year, but a change in personal circumstances and the benefits the sport has on his mental health now sees him looking at a unique challenge.

“I wasn’t sure what I would be doing this year because me and my wife are trying for a child, we’ve been trying for nearly five years now,” he explained. “We went through IVF last year and I wasn’t in the right mental frame of mind with races and stuff, I didn’t really enjoy some of them. I didn’t think I’d be racing much this year but what I found was that training helps with my mental health so much.

“Sadly, the second cycle of IVF didn’t work so we put it on hold until the end of the year to give Mel a break, because it’s not a nice thing with all the medication and stuff.

“So that allowed me to start booking races. I had a crazy goal. I wanted to compete in every British Championships this year in all distances.”

He continues that goal at AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship as he competes in the British Standard Distance Championships on 30 July.

To follow in Christodoulou’s footsteps and take on your own swim, bike, run challenge click here.

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