A Future in Chemistry - Your career starts here
London Olympic Stadium

Olympic Triathlete

Alistair Brownlee

Two-times triathlete world championship winner and gold medallist at London 2012.


00:07 Hello, I am Alistair Brownlee and I am a professional triathlete.

00:11 Triathlon is a sport where you swim, cycle and then run.

00:13 I am a two time World Champion and a two time European Champion.

00:16 I train everywhere. All this countryside you can see around you – out in the fields, on the moors,

00:20 and in the woods, in swimming pools, on my bike, on the roads. Just about everywhere

00:24 around where I live, which is North Leeds and Yorkshire.

00:28 I really enjoyed chemistry in school. I studied it right up to A level and carried it through

00:32 to degree level where I started studying medicine and then ended up with a degree in

00:36 physiology and sports science,

00:38 and I really enjoyed all chemical aspects. Even now in my life as an athlete,

00:41 chemistry is almost all around me.

00:44 It is involved in the equipment I use, from the carbon and materials used on

00:48 my bike to wetsuit material and swimming suit material used for swimming

00:52 throughout your whole competition which is very important

00:55 because it needs to be good in the water and has to dry very quickly

00:59 when you’re outside the water. The RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) has produced the Chemistry in the

01:02 Olympics website as part of the overall Learn Chemistry website

01:06 to talk about the specifics of chemistry in sport and the Olympics. It is full of

01:09 educational resources, interesting facts and all sorts of fun things to do related to

01:14 chemistry.

01:15 Why not have a go at the Global Experiment this summer at home or in school?

01:19 It allows you to test your scientific skills and sporting prowess,

01:23 while having fun along the way doing chemistry.

“Chemistry is almost all around me, it's involved in equipment I use from the carbon and materials on my bike to wetsuit material & through the whole competition.”

How did I get started?

I've liked chemistry since I was in school, and I took it all the way through my academic career up until degree level with the chemical aspects of sports science and physiology.

Skills used

Logical Thinker, Team Worker, Communication, Problem Solving, IT and Technology, Practical Lab Skills

“I really enjoyed chemistry in school; I studied it right up to A level and carried it through to degree level where I ended up with a degree in physiology and sports science.”