My name is Valerie Barthelemy and I am a professional triathlete representing Belgium in the ITU circuit. Join me in this journey that will take me around the world!
After having only been married a week, my parents, originally from Belgium, moved to the US to start their life together. Through a combination of hard work and love of travel, my dad’s occupation brought my family overseas (France, Thailand) for a total of four years. Despite the fact that I grew up living on three different continents, my family always spent considerable time with our extended family in Belgium.
I started competitive swimming at age 10, and later competed for Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, one of the top High Schools in the United States for Swimming. In high school I was the champion for the State of Michigan in the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Individual Medley, 100 Breast and 200 Free Relay and earned All-American honors for all four events.
I continued my swimming career at the University of Michigan, a prestigious swimming Division I school while earning my Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering). In college I trained primarily distance and middle distance and competed predominantly in the 400 IM, 200 Fly and 200 IM, and competed in the Big Ten Championships all four years at Michigan (2009-2013). Following my collegiate swimming career, I earned a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) degree (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering).
I spent a summer in the Netherlands, for a Naval Architecture internship. It was a great experience professionally, and it allowed me to be closer to my family. Having just completed my collegiate swimming career, my time in the Netherlands helped me identify my desire to merge my love of competition and culture, leading me to begin this athletic journey.