Legend: The Always-Smiling Chrissie Wellington

triathlete.com - 05-08

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Chrissie Wellington learned that grinning through the pain made her even stronger. In a sport known for its gods and goddesses of the water, four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington started her first high-level triathlon in 2006 more like an anchor: Attempting to swim in a borrowed wetsuit that was many sizes too big, Wellington floundered and sank. She was rescued and hauled ashore in a kayak. “I was so reluctant to spend money on a sport I didn’t know anything about,” Wellington says with a laugh in a recent phone interview. “I was borrowing everything I could.”