“I live to be outside and enjoy the view”
British triathlete and two-time Olympic gold medal winner, Alistair Brownlee, MBE, told OT about the importance of sunglasses as an athlete
11 November 2023
How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?I probably have hundreds of sunglasses. Oakley is a partner of mine and I’m very lucky to have a different pair for every condition possible.
What frame shapes, colours or styles do you usually go for? Can you describe your favourite pair?It is hard to beat a classic ‘Radar’ frame for cycling and running. My favourite is the ‘Radar EV’ in white with Prism lenses. These are perfect for all the light and weather conditions we get in Yorkshire.
Who would you pick as your style icon when it comes to eyewear?Mark Cavendish.
How did you come to realise that eyewear would be beneficial for you as an athlete?I realised I was spending hours outside every day – often over six hours in very bright conditions. I was almost permanently squinting. I was also constantly getting dirt and insects in my eyes during bike rides.
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee established the Brownlee Foundation in 2014 to encourage children to enjoy active lifestyles and provide opportunities to experience triathlon. Earlier this year, the organisation saw its 50,000th child cross a triathlon finish line.
Alistair told OT: “I’m very proud of the Brownlee Foundation. I believe inspiring young people to be active has never been more important. We want to provide the opportunity to experience triathlon to as many young people as possible. Exposing children to triathlon allows them to experience swimming and cycling (two essential life skills), as well as running. Our emphasis is on enjoyment.”
What does vision and eye health mean to you?I live to be outside and enjoy the view. Vision and eye health couldn’t be more important to me.
How important is eyewear for reflecting your personality?I think functionality is the main thing and, thankfully, all Oakley frames look good.
What are your top three tips for selecting the right pair of frames?
- Do they fit your head?
- Can you feel them when they are on?
- Is the lens tilt right to make sure light doesn’t come through the top?
Podium position highlights and learning from failing
What would you describe as the top moment of your athletic journey so far?Standing on the top step of the podium at the London and Rio Olympic Games.
In this edition of OT, we are exploring what it means to learn from challenges and mistakes. As an athlete facing huge pressures, how would you describe your relationship with ‘failing’?However successful your sporting career is, you’ve failed much more than you have succeeded. Failure is part of my life. I try not to get too upset about things that haven’t gone to plan and don’t allow myself to reflect on them too much. Instead, I try to learn what I can and crack on with the next goal.
What would you say you have learnt from making mistakes?That chance plays a much bigger role in our lives than we would like it to.
Finally, what are the goals ahead of you right now?
At the moment, I am recovering from an ankle injury. My main goal is to get back to full strength and enjoy some racing this year.