We're not sure who's more proud of 29-year-old champion athlete Tyler Butterfield, Cervélo as his sponsors or Bermuda as his home country. Butterfield, who has competed at the highest level in both road bicycle racing and triathlons, made history when he became Bermuda’s first professional triathlete in 2002. He then made his way into the record books yet again in 2004 when he became the youngest male triathlete to ever compete at an Olympic Games.
Butterfield's athletic prowess is a brilliant blend of hard work and genetics. His father Jim Butterfield rowed for Bermuda at the 1972 Olympic Games, then switched to distance running and placed 17th in the marathon at the 1978 Commonwealth Games before making a final switch to the triathlon where he placed seventh at the 1981 edition of the classic Hawaii Ironman. Butterfield’s mother, Debbie, was Bermuda’s top marathon runner during the 1980s. She placed fourth in the 1985 Boston Marathon and recorded a personal best of 2:38 the same year. Butterfield will undoubtedly pass on this incredible sporting ability to his own daughter, Savana, as his wife Nikki is also a champion cyclist and triathlete. Incredibly, just five months after giving birth to Savana, Nikki returned to triathlon and won the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Syracuse.
Butterfield made his debut at the 2001 World Triathlon Championships, and the following year, picked up the bronze medal in the junior race at the 2002 World Triathlon Championships. He was then selected to cycle for Bermuda at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and to represent Bermuda in the triathlon at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Butterfield took on the triathlon as the youngest male competitor ever and placed thirty-fifth with a total time of 1:58:26.99.
Following Athens, Butterfield decided to specialize in cycling on the European professional circuit. Among Butterfield's incredible bike victories are the 2004 Grand Prix Bermuda Cycling Race and the 2005 La Veriers - Les Essarts. He placed 11th in the road race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and won a stage of the Tour of Guadeloupe in 2006 before joining the professional Team Slipstream for the 2007 season.
Butterfield then decided to return his attention to Ironman triathlons to prove his strength-endurance skill in the long-course non-drafting race format. Oddly enough, the former pro-cyclist finds his greatest strength to be the run, as evidenced by frequent course record-setting splits, including a 1:07:52 half marathon at the 2010 Ironman 70.3 U.S. Pro Championship.
Butterfield represented his nation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "I was happy to represent Bermuda well," he said after the games. "Bermuda has a population of fewer than 70,000 and I'm mixing it with some of the biggest countries in the world. The atmosphere was amazing. This was definitely the best race I've ever done. For me, this is the best Olympics and best race ever."
Since competing at the Olympics, Tyler has gone on to race in the Ironman and Half Ironman disciplines. His successes are adding up and he will be taking his first crack at the Ironman World Championships in Kona 2013.