Meet our March featured athlete, Aleena Villani (17, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.), who got her start in triathlon 11 years ago.
WTS Chicago: How'd you get involved with the sport?
Aleena Villani: When I was 5 years old I started competing for my local swim team and picked up bicycle racing. My mom competed in a few triathlons, and it caught my eye. Since two of the three disciplines were familiar to me, I asked if I could do a triathlon. My parents made me wait until I was 6, but then let me give it a shot. I ended up doing very well my first year and won the IRONKIDS National Championship. The adrenaline and accomplishment of competing in triathlons has motivated me ever since.
WTS: What did you like best about competing at the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Chicago?
AV: The atmosphere of this event was spectacular. From watching the pros race to the huge crowds cheering, it definitely was my favorite race of the year. The race course suited my strengths well and the support from friends and family out on the course was amazing! I live in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, so it's not far from my hometown. Chicago has so much to offer; the city always is such a great host!
WTS: What are you looking forward to most about the 2015 World Championships?
AV: Having the 2015 World Championships pretty much in my backyard is really exciting. I have traveled and raced all over the country and world, including London and Edmonton. So to have the support of my Z3 Triathlon team and my family and friends at a World Championship event is a really big deal for me. I am looking forward to the excitement and motivation that will come from it.
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