World Triathlon have recently selected the technical officials who will take part in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. There were a number of highly qualified officials who nominated for a role, and we're thrilled that New South Wales and Port Macquarie Club Member Christina Thorne has been successful in obtaining a spot on the team.
Christina was gracious enough to do a Q&A with Triathlon NSW following her selection.
Tell us about your triathlon journey so far, both as a competitor and as an official
I started as a novice athlete back in 2003 and like most, became addicted. Eventually went on to represent Australia at several World Championships (Sprint/Standard and 70.3) and managed to finish a few IM races with IM Wales my most challenging, yet fun race of all.
End of 2006 I wanted to learn more and give back to the sport, so I did an LTO Course with Triathlon ACT.
Gradually just kept nominating for bigger events with the aim to improve knowledge and skills. Got my first assignment at a World Triathlon Series event in Sydney, 2010. It was a long day, but fantastic opportunity. I went on to officiate the next two years at the Sydney event, and then managed to get a spot at the 2012 WTS Grand Final in Auckland. I finally became an accredited WT L1 official in 2014 (NTO), then L2 (CTO) in 2017.
How do you go about preparing for an event?
Firstly, read the event website to find out about the race. If I’m the TD, I’ll engage often with the Race Director to confirm the readiness of the event and work through any areas of concern; Second, refresh on the race competition rules (particularly for any updates/ amendments); and lastly, read up on my role assignment duties so I’m prepared for, and have what I need to perform my assignments at the event.
If you had to invite three members of the global sporting community to dinner, who would they be, and what are you cooking for them?
Ash Barty, Simone Biles, and Ritchie Porte (so my husband had someone to talk to 😊). And they probably would have to have Thai Green Curry as it’s about the only thing I can reliably cook that won’t be a fail.
What has been your most challenging moment as an official?
Providing the athlete briefing in my first role as TD at an OTU Paratriathlon Championships at St Kilda 2018. I’m not a fan of public speaker and prefer being in the background, so it was a very nerve-racking experience. It became further challenging when there was a massive down pour overnight, leading to Port Phillip Bay being unsuitable for swimming. A further written brief had to be provided to the athletes to enact a contingency plan within hours of the race.
If you had one piece of advice for a less experienced official, what would it be?
Seek out a mentor. There are many very experienced and highly knowledgeable officials in our Australian program who are always happy to provide advice and guidance.
Where to after Birmingham?
I haven’t thought too much ahead just yet, but definitely back to South West Rocks for Trial Bay 2023 at the very least.
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no
The Games will take place between 28th July and 8th August with the following Triathlon/Paratriathlon races being held:
- Individual Women
- Individual Men
- PTVI Women
- PTVI Men
- Mixed Relay