17 November, 2022
Congratulations to Elisa Grassi for winning the gold medal and a 1m SAR prize in the Saudi Games Triathlon at the Olympic Complex in Riyadh. Grassi participated in the semifinal on November 6 and the final of this prestigious event on November 7 and we were able to chat with her about this exciting achievement.
Please read our interview with her below:
Q. What is your role at KAUST?
A: I am a PhD student in biomedical engineering, this is my 2nd year of PhD. I came here in 2019 for Master and then I started the PhD.
Q. Does triathlon training support your research?
A. My training is the most fundamental part of the day which really keeps me going through challenging times. I train usually in the morning, at 6:00 am, which helps me to arrive in the lab or the office energized and focused. It is the only way that really helps me to relax and feel myself completely.
Q. How did the training go at KAUST?
A. Training at KAUST is amazing. I don't think there are many places in the world where you can live literally 5 minutes walk from your workplace and do all the things I do in 24 hours. For running, I train on the running track at the Harbor Sports Club or at the stadium. For cycling, I usually do it with my road bike in the streets of KAUST, because especially in the early morning there aren't many cars and it is very safe. And you can really speed up on the way to the King Abdullah Monument. When I train for swimming, I usually go to Island Recreation Club, and then I go to the gym in Harbor Sports Club. Having free access to all these facilities is really a bonus.
Q. How was your experience at the Saudi Games?
A. The experience was unbelievable. I felt like an olympic athlete. The Saudi Triathlon Federation took such good care of us athletes, the hotel was amazing. I had a huge room for me and Lara (yes, that's the name of my bike ). The organizers of the Saudi Games did an amazing job, I couldn't believe it was the first time they organized this event. I really believe this is only the beginning, Saudi Arabia is investing a lot in sports and I am sure more and more national and international events will be hosted here. Also the Community Sport Organization I am part of, Tri HQ, provided amazing maintenance for our bikes with an expert mechanic on site all the time.
Q. Are you planning to do more triathlons in the future? There is one coming up at KAUST – are you participating?
A. I am planning with my Coach the future races, I would love to join a team and I am discussing this as well. Also if there will be the possibility to participate again in the Saudi Games next year of course I will. About the KAUST Triathlon: yes I registered!
Photo credits: Peter Hugg @pjhsportsphotos