“What a way to finish off the season. Still can’t put words together after this season.” Hayden Wilde has been on one crazy ride in 2021, with his first Olympics and a bronze medal to winning the world championship Xterra on Maui. “I just want to touch on how much this Xterra world title means to me”, he starts an Instagram message that shares an inspiring timeline, starting in 2015 in Maui.
“2015: young high school kid and my third-ever triathlon was here in Maui. To walk away with a world title (U19, ed.) in 2015 lit the spark of my triathlon career.” Wilde continues to write, it was “mind-blowing” to come away with another world title in Maui – again U19 – the next year. “2016-2021: I switched to the dark side of ITU road triathlon and told myself ‘after my pursuit towards the Olympic Games, I would return to the island of Maui as an elite and try for the big boy title’.”
That’s what Wilde did this year, and his attempt was rewarded with gold: “For me, it feels like I’ve come full circle, and it just feels right to have finished my season back where it all started. Accomplishing my Olympic dream and coming back to Maui and being crowned world champion is more than anything I could have dreamed of… If you told 18-year-old me this was my future, I would have laughed…”