Train-or-Tri Sponsored Triathlete:
Shea Mielke – Why I Tri
Shea “Rocket” Mielke has recently become one of the youngest males in North America at age 16 to ever be awarded an ORCA Ambassadorship. Congratulations, Shea, on your 2016 ORCA-ORBEA Ambassador Sponsorship!
Growing up with active parents, I have always been drawn to athletics. Starting with swim lessons at age three, bike trips around the Northwest and in Europe since I was four, and participating in family fun-run 5ks, I learned all three sports of a triathlon early on. I first put them all together was when I was 7 and signed up for, and fell in love with, the Bellingham Youth Triathlon.
Throughout my competitive swimming and triathlon career, I have had many mentors and people who have driven me to become the best I can. Whether it was a coach or an older athlete on my team, every person who has reached out has helped me become an All-American and sponsored triathlete.
I have reached the point where I have the opportunity to mentor beginning athletes on both my coach’s training team and at the local youth triathlon where I had my first experience with the sport. I strive to be a role model and inspire others to push themselves and it is my goal to share the personal successes and lessons I have learned through the sport with kids and adults alike who are just beginning their journey in athletics.
I am grateful to Coach Mo Trainor, my biggest role model and the person who has helped me the most in my progression as an athlete, for her support and advocating on my behalf. She began coaching me when I first started doing Olympic distance races and with her instruction I have been able to move up through the ranks of age group racing. In addition to coaching, Mo has helped me immensely by sharing her wealth of experience showing me the basics of racing that I would have been lost without.
As a coach, she has pushed me to be my best and guided me to race at nationals and qualify for the Age Group World Championships. She also goes above and beyond coaching, coming to all my races to offer encouragement, race strategies, and other bits of knowledge she has picked up over her carer.
Triathlons have taught me how to balance everything else in my life between school, from early morning and afternoon workouts, music and friends, and I look forward to continuing to race triathlons at Colorado State University next year.