Looking back at the top 10 athletes from the last decade: #6

As part of firstoffthebike.com’s countdown to its merge with TriathlonWorld.com, they are counting down the top 10 athletes they have seen in the 10 years they have been covering triathlon.

| February 13, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon / spomedis

It is hard to describe what Daniela Ryf is capable of in the sport of triathlon. A two time Olympian, Ryf gave us glimpses of what was possible. When she stepped up to the longer distance, though, those glimpses became full-fledged visions as Switzerland’s newest triathlon phenom went about the task of emulating some pretty good talent that came before her. A second in Kona in year one set the scene of what was to come. Ryf’s winning ways in the long course form have become legendary in only a few short years.

Our Take

Given Ryf’s nickname of "Angry Bird" we all knew what was to come after a second place in year one of her Kona journey. But, to be honest, Angry Bird never resonated with us because when Ryf races she doesn’t seem to be an angry athlete. She is smooth, calculated and rarely unflappable. At least, if she is concerned on the course, you’d never know it. The masterpiece of Ryf’s work, though, might have been the drubbing she handed out to the field at last season’s Ironman World Championship. She belonged in a different class for that race. The real question remains is how long she can keep the streak going. For now she is simply untouchable.