Paula FindlayPaula Findlay, triathlete (b at Edmonton, Alta, 26 May 1989). Paula Findlay is the first Canadian athlete to win a World Championship Series event and, in 2010, became the only woman to win back-to-back World Championship events. From Edmonton, Alberta, Findlay's introduction to sport began as a swimmer at age ten with the Keyano Club. While in high School, Findlay joined a track club, adding running to her skill set. She took part in her first TRIATHLON a few years later, and has been racing competitively ever since.
Findlay's first competitive season was in 2006. That year, she finished third at the Junior National Championship triathlon and 13th at the World Junior Championships, all the while continuing to compete as a high school athlete in track for St. Francis Xavier High School. In 2007, the recent high school graduate competed as a member of Canada's Junior squad, winning the Junior Triathlon Pan American Championships held in Edmonton. On the heels of that success, Findlay finished sixth in the junior women's category of the International Triathlon Union's (ITU) Triathlon World Championships in Hamburg.
In 2008, Findlay competed as a member of Canada's Junior triathlon team. That year, she won the Junior, Under-23, and Senior Canadian Triathlon Championships, and finished ninth at the World Junior Triathlon Championships. Findlay also competed with the UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA Pandas' cross-country, track, and swim teams; these pursuits took her to the CIS National University Championships where she finished second in the cross-country and 3000 m events, and 23rd at the World Junior Cross-Country Championships. In 2009, she competed for the first time as a senior at the World Championship Series, finishing in the top 20.
Findlay made history first in July 2010 by becoming the first Canadian athlete to win an ITU World Championship Series race - on the same course that competitors will compete at during the 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES in London. She made history again in August 2010, becoming the first female athlete to win back-to-back World Championships when she won gold at Kitzbuhel, Austria. She finished fifth at the ITU World Championship Series Grand Final in Budapest.
Hoping to continue the momentum from her major victories, Findlay started the 2011 season with a fourth place finish at the Mooloolaba World Cup, and first place finishes at the Sydney and Madrid World Championship Series races. These wins secured Findlay's status at the ITU number one ranked female triathlete in June 2011. However, in July 2011 Findlay suffered a muscle tear in her right hip. The injury required Findlay to withdraw from the ITU triathlon World Cup in her hometown of Edmonton that same month. As a result of the injury and lost training time, Findlay finished 29th when she returned to defend her ITU World Championship Series London title in August 2011.
Despite her nagging injury, Findlay trained extensively for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but was thwarted in her quest for medal placement when she finished last in the triathlon, arriving just twelve minutes behind the winner Nicola Spirig of Switzerland.