START SMALL, DON’T GIVE UP!
Michael Champion will become the first Athlete hailing from Zambia to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships after receiving a slot for the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships to be staged in Lahti, Finland.
Fresh from competing in the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Rwanda Event which was held on the 14th of August 2022 in Rubavu, Michael received an email on Monday September 19, which read as follows,
“Congratulations! You received a slot through roll down from the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Rwanda event! You have qualified to compete in the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland on Saturday, August 26 (Women’s Race) and Sunday, August 27 (Men’s Race), 2023.” the email stated.
This news came as a shock to him, completely surprising and very exciting.
The 53-year-old Lusaka-based triathlete will be doing this after recently winning his battle against cancer.
“I have been in complete remission for a long time, but it’s important to stay positive, live life to the fullest, and be grateful for all the blessings we receive,” he said.
For Michael, anything is possible! “Start Small, Don’t Give up and remember, every step counts!” these are the words he can share to motivate anyone out there fighting a similar battle to his and doubting themselves.
He made his debut appearance at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 competition held in Durban, South Africa, he further entered to compete at the Vichy and Aix-en-Provence IRONMAN 70.3 editions both in France in 2020 and 2021 but could not travel due to the COVID 19 situation.
Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The "70.3" refers to the total distance covered in the race, consisting of a 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim, a 90km (56-mile) bike ride, and a 21.1km (13.1-mile) run.
Away from being an ‘Ironman’, Michael often runs half marathons, does Elephant Epic Mountain Bike Races as well as the Victoria Falls full marathon of 42km every year.
We would like to congratulate Michael on this milestone and the positivity exhibited especially after winning his fight against cancer!
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST IN LAHTI!