Paula Findlay
Credit: Delly Carritu

At 22, Findlay is already one of the world's greatest runners

Edmonton, Alberta  // Age: 22

It shouldn’t surprise Paula Findlay that she has blossomed—with back-to-back victories in World Championship Series races in her first full season of competition—into one of the planet’s top triathletes. She has the genes (Mom was an elite runner and rower, while Dad is a marathoner). She has the work ethic, which this summer saw her grinding out thrice-daily workouts at a high-altitude camp in the French Pyrenees as she rehabilitated from a hip injury. She has the wheels—she ran a recent 10-kilometre foot race in 33:47, which is flat-out mow-down speed for a triathlete. So it really shouldn’t surprise the ebullient redhead that she’s the odds-on favourite to win gold in next summer’s London Olympics. It shouldn’t, but it does. “It’s a shock to me constantly that I’m at this level,” she says. “I’m surprised after each race. Honestly. I mean, these girls are fast.”

This profile is part of our Top 30 under 30 feature.