Tea and the Olympics: Triathlon

Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

The triathlon is an event that requires both endurance and physical versatility. It consists of three sections where competitors must swim 1.5 km (0.93 mile), cycle 40 km (25 mile), and finally run 10 km (6.2 mile). The women’s triathlon takes place on the 4th of August, beginning at 9:00am BST, or 4:00am EST (this might be one to watch on reply if you are in the states). The men’s triathlon takes place on the 7th of August, beginning at 4:30pm BST, or 11:30am EST.

The women’s triathlon is up first, and a great way to enjoy this multi-sport event is with three different teas: one for the swim, one for the cycle, and one for the run—a tea-athlon, if you will! Although completing a tea-athlon may not elicit the awe and admiration of friends and family in quite the same way as a triathlon (unless they happen to have a strong aversion to tea…), I like to think that it is still an accomplishment to be proud of. For my tea-athlon, I will be starting with a coconut green tea, then moving onto Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess), an oolong, and finishing with a ginger black tea. I would suggest moving from lighter to heavier teas, as your palette will adjust better. And don’t worry—you’ll have plenty of time to get through all that tea. As you might imagine, all that swimming, cycling, and running takes a while; the current record for the women’s triathlon, held by Emma Snowsill (Australia), is 1:58:27:66.

Ginger Naturally Flavored Black Tea (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Ginger Naturally Flavored Black Tea (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

For the men’s triathlon, which takes place three days later, you could repeat your tea-athlon, and perhaps change some of the teas you select. If you wanted to switch it up even more, I would suggest brewing up some Russian Caravan. This slightly smoky tea is actually a blend of three teas (lapsang souchong, a black tea such as assam or keemun, and an oolong): the perfect tri-tea for a triathlon!

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