Age / DOB
Sep 18 1978
Caroline Steffen, aka ‘Xena’ (Warrior Princess), is one of the most successful long-distance athletes ever.
Born in Switzerland in 1978 and now Australian-based, she has covered off the globe with her race wins.
They include two ITU Long Course World Championships, two IRONMAN European Championship titles, two IRONMAN Asia-Pacific wins plus IRONMAN Australia, Challenge Roth and countless 70.3 triumphs.
It is an impressive record by any standards, and her sporting background always suggested she would be a force to be reckoned with in triathlon. She was a junior swimming champion, winning national titles, and also made the Swiss cycling team.
Caroline didn’t start running until she was 26 but that didn’t hold her back, and 2010 was her breakthrough year. She won her first major race (70.3 Geelong) and then the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, a title she would claim again in 2012 before taking silver in 2016.
Steffen also quickly stepped up to IRONMAN distance and made her mark immediately with second place to Mirinda Carfrae at the World Championship in Kona in 2010.
She would come agonisingly close to a first title there two years later as well, being overtaken on the run by Leanda Cave with three miles to go.
The following year saw Caroline claim the iconic Challenge Roth crown in Germany, her run proving the decisive factor that day. The wins have kept coming ever since, bar a short break when she took time out from the sport to have her first child.
Her return has seen her roar back as good as ever.
She collected two 70.3 titles (Sunshine Coast and Shanghai) before taking part in IRONMAN Western Australia in December 2018, her first full-distance race since 2015 and a year after the birth of Xander. She duly broke the course record, in part thanks to a stunning bike leg which powered her clear of her rivals.
“I think that was one of my best performances ever,” she said afterwards.
“I just felt unstoppable and amazing that day, like superwoman.”
2019 continued in similar style, with a second place at IRONMAN Australia and two dominant 70.3 wins at Subic Bay and Cebu, the latter her sixth success in the race.