2013: Nicola’s personal happiness
Olympic champion, Sportswoman of the Year. After Nicola’s sporting highlights, the year 2013 is dedicated to love. At the end of 2012, she marries her sparring partner, the ex-professional triathlete Reto Hug. And in spring her son Yannis is born. Yannis is Nicola’s new training companion – for the time being in the Baby-Jogger.
2014: The fourth European Championship title - Marathon European Championships - Ironman win
First triathlon – and now the marathon: 2:42:53 – Nicola makes the qualifiers for the European Athletics Championships in 2014 in her own country. In Zurich at the European Championships, she runs the marathon in 2:37:12.
Two months later she is crowned Triathlon European champion in Austria’s Kitzbühel – for the fourth time. In autumn, she takes up long-distance – in Mexico’s Cozumel, she secures her first Ironman victory.
2015: Two victories, one pattern
One year before the Olympic Games and the goals for 2015 are clear; the first European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan) and the home European Championships in Geneva. A victory in Baku would secure Nicola her qualifying place for Rio 2016 in advance – as the first Swiss athlete. Following the same pattern as before, she wins the fifth European championship title in Baku. Lagging in the water, racing to catch up on the bike and extending her dominance on the running track means securing a victory with a one-minute lead.
2016: crash in Abu Dhabi
Altitude training in St. Moritz and two training camps in Gran Canaria. Nicola is in top form. The first competition of the ITU World Series takes place in March in Abu Dhabi. There is a mass pile-up on the bike circuit. Nicola has to abandon the race: The metacarpal bones in her left hand are broken in several places.
Operation and reduced training over the course of many weeks. The way to Rio must be rewritten.
The goal remains – be in the best shape as possible on the 20. August 2016 – the start of the Olympic Games Triathlon race.
2016: silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio
After the mass pile-up in March and multiple fracture of her left hand: Nicola fights, biting through. The amount of exercise, the training methods - everything has to be adapted. A mentally difficult time for the Olympic champion. But Nicola grows on the challenge. Her coach says: She is in top form, better than ever! August 20, 2016: Nicola is ready. She swims better than ever, dominates and dictates the race on the entire bike course and provides a run spectacle with the later winner Gwen Jorgensen that - after London 2012, the closest finish in Olympic history - remains unforgotten. After gold in London, silver in Rio.
2017: A family of four
Yannis, Reto and Nicola welcome Malea Lexi to the family. She is born on May 20 at 13:26 in the hospital of Bülach - healthy and full of energy.
1982: The first steps
Nicola is the youngest of the three Spirig Kids. Nicolas siblings Kathrin and Thomas are role models who intellecutally and physically challenge and encourage Nicola. The parents are both sports teachers and sport in every form plays a big role in this family’s program. Nicola grew up in Winkel in the area of Bülach, situated directly next to a forest, a great outdoor playground. Their holiday home is 1600m high in Bad Ragaz/Pizol, where activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking and ski tours are on offer.
Nicola takes advantage of many opportunities: Girls’ team and basketball training in the town of Winkel, swimming in the Kloten swimming club, cycling and running with her father, playing tennis – for Nicola, sport plays a part in every day life. In winter, the family spend a lot of time in the vacation home.
1992: The first triathlon
At her first competition experience at the Volksbank race, Nicola wins the regional qualifiers in Neuhausen as a first grader. In 1992, she completes her first school triathlon at the Egelsee in Bubikon. Wearing the race number 13, she comes into 2nd place behind a competitor two years her senior – she proceeds to win all school triathlons that follow. The course is set for a successful career ahead.
1993: The silent helper
At the early age of 11 years, Nicola gets her own bike mechanic, Harry Hossli. At the age of 12, she is given her first sponsored bicycle by the bike center «Vögeli». Hossli is also there to repair and look after the bike’s maintenance. Today, Harry Hossli is the owner of «Krauer’s Radstudio» (bicycle studio), and still today puts her new bicycles together and keeps them in top condition. In her 23 years of competing, Nicola has never had a single bicycle breakdown!
1999 - 2000: First international success
At the age of 17 Nicola becomes Junior Duathlon- and Triathlon European Champion, wins the silver medal at the Junior Cross Country Run European Championships and the silver medal at the Junior World Triathlon Championships. One year later she becomes Junior World Champion in Duathlon, won the bronze medal at the Junior Triathlon World Championships and the silver medal at the Junior Cross Country Run European Championships.
2001: Newcomer of the year – focus on triathlon
In 2001, after a second and a third place the years before, Nicola becomes the junior world champion in triathlon. Her sporting achievements are topped off with the award for Newcomer of the Year in December 2001. Nicola advances par excellence as a triathlete hopeful. In the same year, Nicola breaks the junior Swiss 10 000m track record with a time of 35:05:87.
2004: The first Olympic Games
Summer 2004, Athens. Nicola’s first Olympic Games. She is 22 years old, straight out of the junior category and unbelievably motivated – in spite of the shin injury Nicola had in the months before the Olympic Games, she finished the race on the 19th place.
2006: A change of coach
The course is set for a successful career. Nicola and her father Sepp, who had coached her so far, did a great job. She can only make her way to the top by training with an international group – and this she achieves with the successful coach Brett Sutton. He challenges her and supports her – and drives her to excel.
2007: Establishing herself amongst the world’s elite
In 2007 Nicola makes the jump to the world’s elite performers, the strongest class of athletes. She wins her first bronze medal at the European Championships in Copenhagen and in the same year celebrates her first triathlon win at the World Cup in Eilat. The next career highlight follows in the same year – she wins her first Ironman 70.3 at the home race in Rapperswil.
2008: The second World Cup win in Kitzbühel
A couple of months after her first triathlon win at the World Cup in Eilat, Nicola once again stands on the very top of the podium. The next Olympic Games are around the corner and Nicola is on her best form.
2008: The Olympic flame in Beijing
At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Nicola is one of the general favorites in the triathlon. With a time of 2:00:30, she asserts her leading position amongst the world’s elite and is awarded a certificate for 6th place.
2009: The triathlon European champion
A new Olympic cycle and she’s off to a flying start. One year after Beijing 2008, Nicola overcomes her strong competition at the European championships in Holten (NL) and wins her first title as European champion.
2010: The second title as European champion
The goal: To defend her title as the triathlon European champion from the year before. Nicola succeeds in doing so. In Athlone, Ireland, she is awarded the title of European champion for a second time. On top of that, she manages to secure the title as triathlon vice world-champion in the same year.
Another string to her bow aside from her sporting career: After two interruptions before the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, Nicola successfully graduates in 2010 with a degree in law (Liz. I and Liz. II) with magna cum laude.
2011: Injury misfortune
The preparations for the Olympic Games in London are underway. Though, the training program has to be adjusted. Nicola’s training is reduced due to a stress fracture in the shin. Thanks to good medical care and the support of her partner and family, Nicola is able to successfully overcome the injury very quickly.
2012: The path to the third Olympic Games
For Nicola, the Olympic season starts with a bang at the European championships in Israel: for the third time she is crowned European champion – over the period of 4 years.
2012: A dream come true
London, August 2012 – the closest final in Olympic history: after years of preparation and thousands of training hours, Nicola claims the Olympic victory. In a riveting final spurt, Nicola and her Swedish competitor Lisa Nordén arrive at the finish line at almost the same time. Nicola, however, finds her way to the front. The photograph of the finish shows in favor of the Swiss competitor.
2012: Sportswoman of the Year
In the same year, Nicola is awarded the honor of «Sportswoman of the Year» at the Swiss TV gala.
Runner up Olympic Games 2016
Olympic Champion 2012
5 times European Champion (2009,2010,2012, 2014 and 2015)
Winner European Games 2015
Winner Ironman Cozumel 2014
Vice-World Champion and Team World Champion 2010
More: Junior European- and World Champion and winner of multiple ITU-, World Series and Half-Ironman-Races
1. Place World Championships U-23 2003
3. Place World Championships (Cat. Juniors) 2001
1. Place World Championships (Cat. Juniors) 2000
1. Place European Championships (Cat. Juniors) 1999
2-times runner up at Zurich Marathon 2014 and 2015
Marathon European Championships in Zurich: 2:37:12
Multiple Swiss Champion in 10’000m, 5’000m and 3’000m
1. Place Swiss Championships 5000m (Cat. Juniors) 2001
1. Place Swiss Championships Cross 2001
2. Place European Championships Cross (Cat. Juniors) 2000
1. Place Swiss Championships 5000m (Cat. Juniors) 2000
2. Place European Championships Cross (Cat. Juniors) 1999
Athlete of the Year 2012
Athlete of the Year in Zurich 2008, 2010 and 2012
Newcomerin of the Year 2001
|2. Place||Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro (BRA)|
|1. Place||70.3 Ironman Haugesund (NOR)|
|1. Place||70.3 Ironman Pescara (ITA)|
|2. Place||70.3 Ironman Mallorca (ESP)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Olympic Distance Zug (SUI)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Sprint Distance Sempach (SUI)|
|1. Place||Pro-Race Stettfurt (SUI)|
|1. Place||5150 Zürich Triathlon (SUI)|
|1. Place||St. Moritz Triathlon and Duathlon(SUI)|
|1. Place||3000m Langenthal 9:20.19|
|3000m Jona Personal Best 9:07.49|
|3000m Langenthal Personal Best 9:07.48|
|1. Place||European Championships Genf (CH)|
|1. Place||European Games Baku (AZE) - Olympiastartplatz Rio 2016|
|3. Place||ITU World Serie Cape Town (SA)|
|5. Place||ITU World Serie Stockholm (SE)|
|2. Place||70.3 Ironman Österreich St. Pölten (A)|
|2. Place||European Championships Team Genf (CH)|
|1. Place||Triathlon Frauenfeld (CH)|
|1. Place||Triathlon Sempach (CH)|
|2. Place||Zürich Marathon Zeit 2:46:09|
|3000m Langenthal Zeit 9:23.67|
|1. Place||European Championships Triathlon Kitzbühel (A)|
|1. Place||ITU World Series Cozumel (Mexiko)|
|1. Place||ITU World Series Cartagena (Kolumbien)|
|1. Place||Ironman Cozumel (Mex)|
|3. Place||70.3 Ironman Switzerland Rapperswil|
|1. Place||Half-Ironman Locarno|
|1. Place||Duathlon Swiss Championships Zofingen|
|24. Place||Marathon European Championships Zurich 2:37:12|
|13. Place||5000m Athletics Lucerne 15:54:00|
|1. Place||5000m Swiss Championships Frauenfeld 16:18:96|
|1. Place||10000m Swiss Championships Uster 34:01:00|
|2. Place||Marathon Swiss Championships Zurich 2:42:52|
|2. Place||10-km Street run Swiss Championships Saxon 34:28:08|
|2. Place||Cross Swiss Championships Zurich|
|2. Place||Int. Greifenseelauf half marathon Zeit 1:15:51|
|1. Place||World Serie Cozumel (Mex)|
|1. Place||Triathlon Lausanne|
|1. Place||Triathlon Locarno|
|2. Place||Swiss Championships halfmarathon Uster|
|1. Place||European Championships Eilat (ISR)|
|1. Place||World Triathlon Series Kitzbühel (A)|
|1. Place||World Triathlon Series Madrid (E)|
|5. Place||World Triathlon Series Sydney (AUS)|
|2. Place||Weltcup Mooloolaba (AUS)|
|1. Place||70.3 Ironman Rapperswil (CH)|
|1. Place||70.3 Ironman Antwerpen (NL)|
|1. Place||5150 Zürich (CH)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Duathlon Zofingen (CH)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships 5000m Bern (CH)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships 3000m Bern (CH)|
|2. Place||Team World Championship Lausanne|
|8. Place||World Serie London|
|12. Place||World Serie Hamburg|
|16. Place||Sprint World Championship Lausanne|
|20. Place||World Serie Final Peking|
|25. Place||World Serie Yokohama|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Uster|
|1. Place||5150-Serie Zürich|
|1. Place||Triathlon Alpe d’Huez|
|2. Place||Garmin Triathlon Barcelona|
|2. Place||World Championships overall ranking|
|3. Place||World Series Final Budapest|
|1. Place||Team-WC in Lausanne|
|1. Place||European Championships in Athlone (IRL)|
|1. Place||World Serie in Madrid (E)|
|2. Place||World Serie in London (GBR)|
|4. Place||World Serie in Seoul (KOR)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships in Nyon|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Duathlon in Zofingen|
|1. Place||Street Swiss Championships 10000m in Payerne (CH|
|1. Place||European Championships in Holten (NED)|
|1. Place||World Serie in London (GBR)|
|2. Place||World Serie in Kitzbühel (A)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Lausanne|
|1. Place||overall rankingSwiss Triathlon Circuit|
|1. Place||Triathlon Alpe d’Huez (F)|
|1. Place||Swiss Triathlon Circuit Nyon|
|1. Place||Duathlon Swiss Championships|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships 5000m|
|1. Place||Indoor Swiss Championships 3000m|
|1. Place||Cross Swiss Championships|
|6. Place||Olympic Games Peking (China)|
|4. Place||European Championships Lissabon (P)|
|1. Place||World Serie Kitzbühel (A)|
|6. Place||World Serie Ishigaki (Japan)|
|6. Place||World Serie Tongyeong (Korea)|
|6. Place||World Serie Lorient (F)|
|1. Place||Ironman 70.3 Monaco|
|2. Place||Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil (CH)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Lausanne(CH)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Sempach (CH)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Zug (CH)|
|3. Place||European Championships Kopenhagen (DK)|
|1. Place||World Serie Eilat (Isr)|
|5. Place||World Serie Richards Bay (SA)|
|6. Place||World Serie Kitzbühel (A)|
|6. Place||World Serie Ishigaki (J)|
|6. Place||World Serie Rhodos (GR)|
|7. Place||World Serie Peking (China)|
|8. Place||World Serie Lissabon (P)|
|10. Place||World Serie Salford (GB)|
|17. Place||World Serie Mooloolaba (AU)|
|6. Place||World Serie overall ranking 2007|
|19. Place||World ChampionshpsHamburg (D)|
|1. Place||Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil (CH)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Zug (CH)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Nyon (CH)|
|2. Place||Swiss Championships Genf (CH)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit overall ranking 2007|
|13. Place||European Championships Autun (F)|
|2. Place||European Championships Teamwettkampf Autun (F)|
|8. Place||World Series Richards Bay (SA)|
|12. Place||World Series New Plymouth (NZ)|
|17. Place||World Series Cancun (Mex)|
|17. Place||World Series Madrid (E)|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships Duathlon|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Zürich|
|2. Place||VW-Circuit Nyon|
|2. Place||VW-Circuit Zug|
|2. Place||VW-Circuit Uster|
|1. Place||Triathlon Stettfurt|
|3. Place||World Championships U-23 Gamagori|
|2. Place||European Championships U-23 Sofia|
|12. Place||European Championships Lausanne|
|11. Place||World Series Madrid (E)|
|12. Place||World Series Salford (GB)|
|32. Place||World Series Beijing (China)|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Murten|
|1. Place||VW-Circuit Vallé de Joux|
|3. Place||VW-Circuit Zug|
|19. Place||Olympic Games Athen|
|14. Place||European Championships Valencia|
|14. Place||World Serie Ishigaki (Japan)|
|11. Place||World Serie Mazatlan (Mexiko)|
|13. Place||World Serie Salford (GB)|
|6. Place||Australian Championships Mooloolaba|
|12. Place||European Championships|
|32. Place||World Championships|
|3. Place||World Championships U-23|
|2. Place||European Championships Team|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships|
|1. Place||World Championships*|
|2. Place||European Championships*|
|1. Place||Credit Suisse Circuit overall ranking|
|3. Place||World Championships*|
|1. Place||Team European Championships|
|1. Place||European Cup overall ranking|
|2. Place||World Championships*|
|1. Place||European Championships*|
|1. Place||Swiss Championships*|
* = Cat. Juniors