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Torino 2006
Plata, Victor

The Short List
  • Ranked #5 in the world in ITU World Cup rankings (2005)
  • Qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team by virtue of an equation put into effect after the final U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Triathlon
  • Finished as the third American at the Race to Athens – Honolulu and as the third American at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Triathlon, which put him on the team
  • Competed in the 2003 World Championships and Pan American Games.
  • Was named the 2000 Olympic Triathlon Team alternate after finishing as the fourth American at Trials
Did You Know?
  • Was a California State Beach Lifeguard from age 17 through college … in his beach lifeguard training he would paddle to a buoy a mile from the beach and swim back … feels his lifeguard swim training gives him an advantage in ocean swims
  • Graduated magna cum laude while earning a B.S. in social sciences from California Polytechnic in 1997 … ran cross country and track at Cal Poly SLO
  • Was once chased by a guard llama while on a training run with his Cal Poly cross country teammates
  • Suffered a stress fracture during his junior season and began swimming to stay in shape
  • During senior year of college, ran unattached in club track meets often acting as a rabbit for then roommate Dan Held, a competitor in the 1996 U.S. Olympic 1,500m Trials
  • Swam distance freestyle events for the Cal Poly swim team in his fifth year, after training for the Lifeguard National Championship the previous summer
  • Produced the Cal Poly “Year in Sports” video played at the year-end athletic department banquet
  • Reads a portion of Jerry Lynch’s Thinking Body, Dancing Mind before each race; Lynch is a sports psychologist who lives in Santa Cruz and has worked with numerous Olympic athletes; still stays in touch with Lynch after meeting him while training
  • Spent the winter of 2000-01 training and competing in Venezuela and Columbia. Plata's father, Victor, is Venezualan, who currently lives in Columbia
  • Has rarely seen his father; had his first real meeting with his dad in 1993 in Columbia for his father’s 50th birthday, returning home from that trip, Victor began using his father’s family name for the first time
  • Does freelance writing in his spare time
It's Every Day

Born in Minneapolis, Victor learned how to swim at age 9 at Camp Minakiki, a summer camp for underprivileged children in Minnesota. The following summer, he was the only camper to canoe to an island and swim a mile back to shore. In junior high, Victor wasn’t, as yet, exposed to the world of high tech gear … he wore red Chuck Taylor Converse All Star high tops on his cross country team. He went to Minneapolis South High School for one year and competed in cross country, swimming and track, alternating morning swim workouts with afternoon runs.


On being a team player: "If a scenario plays out where I can help them (Hunter Kemper, Andy Potts) in the race somehow … I'll take it," he said. "If we can win a medal, for our country, that's more important than anything."

Height: 6-0
Born: 10-Apr-73
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Resides: San Luis Obispo, CA
Sport: Triathlon

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