Gwen Jorgensen became “Queen of Triathlon” from an accountant working at Ernst & Young in Milwaukee.
Just when she thought her competition days were over, the USA Triathlon headquarters recruiter came up with the life-changing question: Ever consider triathlons?
Since then, Jorgensen has never looked back, dominating the sport of triathlon, winning twelve consecutive ITU world series events.
However, Jorgensen’s husband, Patrick Lemieux, also has a considerable contribution to her success. He sacrificed his pro cycling career to become her full-time caretaker.
After becoming a mom in 2017, she retired from triathlon to pursue her career in the marathon.
Let us look at quick facts before going in-depth about Gwen Jorgensen’s professional and personal life stick with us.
|Gwen Rosemary Jorgensen
|Date of Birth
|April 25, 1986
|Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
|37 years old
|5’9″ (175 cm)
|59 kg (130 lbs)
|Body Mass Index (BMI)
|Elizabeth Jorgensen (older sister)
|Patrick Lemieux (retired pro cyclist)
|Bowerman Track Club
|Triathlon (2010-2017), Marathon (2017-present)
|Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook
Gwen Jorgensen | Background and Early Years
Gwen Jorgensen, the triathlete, was born on April 25, 1986, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Currently, she resides in Portland, Oregon.
She is the youngest daughter of Joel and Nancy Jorgensen. Likewise, her elder sister’s name is Elizabeth Jorgensen.
Nancy is a writer and musician. Similarly, Elizabeth is creative writing, composition, and journalism teacher at Arrowhead High School.
In October 2019, Gwen Jorgensen’s mother and sister published a book named Go, Gwen, Go A Family’s Journey to Olympic Gold.
The book documents Jorgensen’s journey to becoming an Olympic gold medalist. It also describes their family experience raising an Olympic champion.
Jorgensen’s developed a taste for swimming at her grandmother’s pool. Later, she became a competitive swimmer at the age of eight.
Besides, that she also showed her running potential. In elementary school, she ran so fast her teacher would not believe she had already completed four laps.
High School and College
During her early high school days, she was well known for swimming. Moreover, she had a dream to become an Olympic swimmer.
However, Waukesha South High School track team coach Eric Lehmann recognized Jorgensen’s effortless stride would also be suited for distance running.
Later, the coach asked her elder sister to recruit Jorgensen to the track team. But her sister replied she was going to swim.
So, Lehmann made an adjustment for Jorgensen, allowing Jorgensen to do running workouts and training during swimming off-season.
After Jorgensen graduated high school, she became a standout swimmer and track athlete, winning multiple state championships.
At first, Jorgensen didn’t plan to join the Univerity of Wisconsin Madison thinking college was too close to her house.
However, she fell in love with the college atmosphere on her first visit. Although she was a talented runner, she followed her passion and joined the swimming team in college.
Jorgensen competed in the Big ten swimming championship for her first three years in college.
But after she was left out of the NCCA swim team, she decided to join the track and cross country club after consulting with her high school track coach.
Later, her decision paid off as she became both track and cross country All- American. Likewise, she became 5000m and 3000m Big Ten champion in 2009.
Similarly, Jorgensen completed three NCAA track championships and two cross country NCAA championships.
Furthermore, Jorgensen earned six Academic All-Big Ten choice and Big Ten Medal of Honor winner in 2009.
Gwen Jorgensen likes to work out seven days a week without rest. Moreover, her rest day includes swimming, biking, or walking to keep her body active.
Basically, she likes to include exercises and workouts that mainly focus on speed.
In the early morning, she likes to run one and half hours before breakfast. Later, she does gym training for another one and a half hours.
Likewise, she ends her day with another run just before dinner. She usually runs about 193km weekly.
As Jorgensen is getting older, she has given special care to recovery. So, she has installed a sauna in her house.
Moreover, she uses a sauna for about 20 minutes daily at 160 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
Diet has played an essential role in Jorgensen’s athletic success. She has a simple approach to her diet that she eats to train.
She usually eats oatmeal for breakfast. Likewise, she consumes yogurt, fruit, or protein bar sometimes before gym sessions for morning snacks.
Similarly, she likes to have rice and a massive portion of meat and vegetables for lunch. Then, after some nap, she eats muesli or peanut butter.
Finally, she eats vegetables, potatoes, and meats at dinner to fuel up her body after the run.
After completing her master’s in accounting, Gwen Jorgensen worked at Ernst & Young in Milwaukee. She left her elite competitive days behind.
However, as she was a standout runner and swimmer in the collegiate days, USA Triathlon recruiters identified her potential in triathlon.
Later, they came up with a life-changing question. Ever consider triathlon? The rest is history.
Although she didn’t own a bike at that time, she decided to try an exhausting sport that included swimming, cycling, and running.
In 2010, she placed eighth on her first-ever triathlon competition and earned an elite card at USAT’s Elite Development Race.
She won USA Triathlon Rookie of the year and Elite Duathle of the Year in her debut season.
Gwen Jorgensen earned a place in the 2012 USA Olympics after her impressive performance in the 2011 season.
Unfortunately, in the London Olympics, she finished in the 38th position due to a flat tire on her bike.
Four years later, in Rio Olympics, Jorgensen won the gold medal finishing with a time of 1:56:16.
Moreover, she recorded her name in the history book, becoming the first American to win a gold medal at a triathlon event.
ITU World Series
In 2014, Jorgensen won four consecutive races at the World Triathlon Series, becoming the first female to achieve the milestone.
Later, she extended her wins to 2015, winning 13 consecutive races wins at the series. But her fantastic streak came to an end at the Gold Coast race in 2016.
In 2016 Gwen Jorgensen competed in her first-ever marathon in New York City Marathon. She finished with a time of 2:41:01, placing 14th.
Later, in November 2017, Jorgensen made a surprising announcement retiring from triathlon and pursuing a career in marathons.
Gwen wanted to become the first female to win a gold medal in two different sports at Olympics.
But, during her marathon buildup, she suffered a heel injury. The extended recovery process forced her to make a different decision.
So, in the USA Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, she decided to compete in track.
Sadly, she didn’t secure a spot on the USA track team, placing ninth in 5000m and DNF in 1000m.
Gwen Jorgensen was married to former pro cyclist Patrick Lemieux in 2016. The couple also has a son named Stanley, born in 2017.
When did the couple first meet each other?
Patrick Lemieux grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and riding a bike was his passion. He became a pro in 2011, racing in multiple USA cycling events.
The couple first met in June 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during group training. At that time, Jorgensen was young and starting to get her cycling legs training for the Olympics.
Later, he asked her out for dinner on the first day they met. Moreover, Patrick became more curious to help her as she was a rookie in cycling.
Then they began long-distance dating. Patrick went to London Olympics to see Jorgensen’s first race in person.
However, she placed 38th in the race mainly due to a flat tire. Later, to prepare for her two races, she spent about three weeks in Australia for training.
Patrick also planned to travel with her. They stayed and trained together.
Then in New Zealand, she managed to secure a second position on her last race of the season. Moreover, back then, it was the most significant achievement of her career.
Patrick never became a world-class-level athlete like Jorgensen. However, Jorgensen also realized she needed a daily performance environment to improve her performance.
So, Jorgensen and her husband Patrick decided to live abroad for nine months every year to prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
At first, in January 2013, the couple moved to Wollongong, Australia. Later, Patrick retired within two years after turning pro to become Jorgensen’s full-time caretaker.
To date, he still does all the cooking, cleaning, preparing bikes, packing, shopping, and other kinds of stuff for her wife.
Jorgensen mentioned without her husband; she would have become an Olympic gold medalist.
Everyone must respect what Patrick did for his wife. Patrick sacrificed his riding career to help her wife become a gold medal contender.
Gwen Jorgensen | Sponsors and Net Worth
Gwen Jorgensen is arguably the wealthiest Triathlete. Thanks to her several championship-winning and sponsors.
Jorgensen is never short of sponsors. Currently, she has tied endorsement deals with nine brands.
That includes Pete and Gerry’s organic eggs, Skratch labs, polar, Training peaks, Specialized, Saalt, 2XU, Nike, and Beam.
Besides, this she has also done many commercials and advertisements for many brands.
Gwen Jorgensen’s salary is not published anywhere. However, her estimated net worth is around $1.5 million.
Social Media Presence
Moreover, she has around 290k followers combined on social media.
Mainly, she is active on her Instagram and YouTube handles. On Instagram, she likes to post photos and videos of her training, competitions, and family moments.
Likewise, on Youtube, she uploads vlogs mainly of training, tutorial, and life updates.
In 2018 and 2019, she documented a series of episodes regarding the life of a professional runner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to Gwen Jorgensen?
Gwen Jorgensen left Bowerman Track Club in July 2021 to return to the marathon. She made her announcement on YouTube.
Moreover, Jorgensen mentioned career, and family goals played a role in making the decision.
Did Gwen Jorgensen qualify for the Olympics?
Gwen Jorgensen decided to compete in 5000m and 10000m events in the Tokyo Olympics.
Unfortunately, the former triathlete did not make it to the USA track and field team, finishing ninth and not finishing in another one.
Why did Gwen Jorgensen retire from triathlon?
In 2017, Gwen Jorgensen left triathlon to pursue full-time training to win a gold medal in a marathon event at Tokyo Olympics.
However, she didn’t compete in the USA marathon trials due to extended heel surgery recovery.