Athlete Spotlight: Jorge Jimenez


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Jorge Jimenez, of San Diego California, trains with Coach Mark Sortino. He's just finished up his second year in triathlon and was named top Military Male overall for the the San Diego Triathlon Series. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and served six years in the United States Army where he was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom War. The 36 year old retired combat war veteran and recipient of three Purple Hearts is now in his final year of studies in the Exercise Science program at San Diego State. Jorge also enjoys surfing and playing volleyball and he finds that surfing develops endurance and volleyball develops strength, both which both help with triathlon.

Tell us about your athletic background prior to triathlon and how you got involved in the sport?

I was a professional volleyball player in Puerto Rico. I got involved in the sport of triathlons by a friend of mine who took me to a duathlon in Hawaii and I have been doing this sport ever since, for two years.


What does the sport mean to you? Has it impacted your life, and if so, how?

This sport has allowed me to push myself in ways I may have not thought was possible after being injured in the war. I am a very competitive person and this sport pushes my mind and body to new limits.


You've had an incredibly successful year, if I'm not mistaken you've been on the age group or overall podium at nearly every race! How many races have you done this year? Were you surprised by the year you have had, or did you know from your training that you would be competitive.

This year I competed in 27 races at a variety of distances including four 70.3's, International and sprints to complete the total. I knew from my training I would be competitive. 


How do you get through the tough spots of races? What is your mental approach to those?

I got through the tough spots in races by surpassing my physical breaking point. My mental approach is based off of pure determination and willpower.


What are your strengths in the sport? What are your opportunities for greatest improvement?

My strengths are my drive and focus in every discipline of this sport.


What is one memorable race from this year, and why?

The ToughMan 70.3 Georgia was the most challenging because was a difficult and hilly course and it was also extremely hot outside.


How long have you been with Team MPI and how did you come to work with Coach Mark?

I started with Team MPI and Coach Mark in August 2016 after we met at tri camp in Pensacola, Florida. Since then I seen a lot change in my performance in race due to the great coaching and knowledge from Mark.

What future goals do you have for training or racing?

My goal is to increase the amount of hours of training and ultimately make it to Kona, Hawaii (IRONMAN World Championship) one day.


What have you learned through the sport that you would like to share with others?

I have learned a lot of discipline, time management, and organization skills which has helped me in my daily life. Also I learned is a good recovery and therapy from my PTSD resulting from combat.

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