The Swiss Miss
Natascha “The Swiss Miss” Badmann is truly a legend of the sport, not just because of her six IRONMAN® World Championship victories in Hawaii, but the incredible longevity of her career, her passion for triathlon and her positive attitude.
Having become a mother at 17, it would be several years before Badmann set the prototype for supermom athletes as one of triathlon’s most dominant performers. Originally taking up jogging in her early 20s to lose weight, kick an eating disorder and find her true self from a broken past, Badmann first found her passion and talent for multisport competition as a duathlete.
Her incredible bike power and pure running strength earned second place at the duathlon world champs in 1994 and first the following year. She also raced Olympic distance triathlon, becoming European Champion in 1997 and collecting over 30 medals at international championships. Her first big long-distance win was at Powerman Zofingen in 1996 – an infamously tough race.
Her rookie IRONMAN® race was Kona 1996, where she came second only to fellow legend Paula Newby-Fraser. Always racing with a smile, Badmann returned to take victory in 1998 – the first European ever to do so. This began an era of dominance with wins on the Big Island following in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.
While leading the race in 2007, a huge bike crash threw Badmann to the tarmac, destroying several parts in both of her shoulders and requiring two surgeries. The doctor’s prediction: “You’ll never be able to swim or race again.” Refusing to believe this, Badmann spent years fighting her way back, her overwhelmingly positive attitude keeping her in the sport she loves.
After getting back to fitness with second at IRONMAN® Lanzarote in 2011, Badmann won IRONMAN® South Africa and came sixth in Kona the following year, setting the day’s fastest bike split at age 45. Badmann competed her last IRONMAN® Kona in 2016, 20 years after her first start. She continues to race, using her legendary status to inspire others while taking first at IRONMAN® 70.3 Oman and India in 2019 and 2020.
Badmann lives in Switzerland with her husband and long-time coach Toni Hasler. Both pioneers of the sport, they heralded new training methods, developing mental techniques, nutrition strategies and aerodynamic advantages that took the sport to previously unknown levels. Today, both Natascha and Toni remain inextricably linked to triathlon. Badmann works as a business coach and motivational speaker – skills that she will combine with experience from her glittering pro career to lead Team Europe in the battle for the Collins Cup.