Olympic Games Triathlon: Kyle Smith says Hayden Wilde domestique dream was fuelled by friendship, and love for New Zealand

Kyle Smith says his unsuccessful bid to make the New Zealand Olympic team last year was inspired by the impact a gold medal for Hayden Wilde could have had on the sport back home.

Additionally, the PTO World #3 shared that he had wanted to help out his compatriot Wilde by racing as a domestique, but was unable to secure the points necessary in 2023 to qualify for the squad.

Sending a message to the Kiwi contingent before the individual races at the end of next month, the 26-year-old encouraged his fellow countrymen to look at the bigger picture.

“I’d have packed my flip flops if I had to”

Delving deeper into his Olympic ambitions, Smith revealed that in addition to wanting to achieve his own personal goal of going to a Games, aiding his fellow countryman Wilde had played a big part in his motivation to race in Paris.

Kyle Smith
Photo Credit: Super League Triathlon

“The one reason that I was trying to qualify for the Olympics, I said it before the Commonwealth Games in 2022, is that Hayden could have done with a domestique there, but it kind of fell on deaf ears and so I said the same thing for Paris.

“There’s no doubting that Hayden is one of the best runners in the race, especially with Kristian [Blummenfelt] underperforming, so it’s really now between him and Alex [Yee] for the gold medal and winning gold is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Hayden is one of my best mates and I wanted to be there to be his right hand lieutenant, I’d have packed my flip flops if I had to and just swim and bike for him if I had to.”


Your monthly dose of endurance sports geekery – from gear reviews to hot tips & takes.




Looking at the bigger picture

Smith said that a gold medal for Wilde in Paris is also a gold medal for New Zealand, with the impact that could have on the next generation not lost on The Championship winner, who remembers being inspired by New Zealand greats such as Bevan Docherty and Hamish Carter in his youth.

Hayden Wilde WTCS Cagliari 2024 finish
Photo Credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon

“I got into triathlon in 2010 when Bevan Docherty was the bronze medalist from Beijing and I was massively influenced by that. I was obviously inspired by Bevan, and then Hamish Carter was so successful in that era as well.

“The current crop of professionals have been riding on their coattails, so I think looking at the bigger picture, if Hayden is helped to get a medal, it will help our sport in New Zealand as a whole.

“Unfortunately, the way our policy was written meant that I had to do it on my own back and I wasn’t good enough to do that, so I won’t be there, but I hope whoever is selected realizes that a gold medal is not just a good thing for Hayden, but also for triathlon back home.” 

Related Articles

Back to top button