Triathlon World have announced Bermuda's Flora Duffy Female Athlete of the Year, While we didn't add a column asking "why?" when it came to voting for your favorite female athlete of 2016, we have a feeling we know what many were thinking when they put her name down on their ballots. Flora Duffy started to get the world excited about new possibilities in the world of women's racing early this year. Her go-for-broke style from the gun helped set up Helen Jenkins' dramatic win at the WTS Gold Coast race in April and, for the first time in a couple of years, people started to imagine that Gwen Jorgensen might actually have a challenge ahead of her if she was to take the gold in Rio.
Duffy suddenly made it OK for the rest of the women to dream of a gold medal. In many ways it elevated Jorgensen's amazing performance in Rio - the American lifted her cycling to new heights and became an even better athlete by the end of the summer (hard as that is to imagine).
While Duffy didn't have another of those break out days in Rio, she did manage to pull out all the stops in Cozumel, leading from start to finish and holding Jorgensen off to take the WTS title. She followed that up with her third straight Xterra world championship, a second (to Jorgensen) at the Island House Triathlon and then successfully defended her ITU World Cross title.
Duffy's performances in 2016 have been huge for Bermuda, too. With a population of 65,000, it's not too often the country enjoys a world championship, let alone three in the same year.
All of which, no doubt, inspired our readers to name Flora Duffy our female athlete of the year. An amazing accomplishment considering the two women behind her either set a new course record in Kona or won an Olympic gold medal (amongst other accomplishments).