Jarrod Shoemaker's appearance at the Beijing Olympics this summer was assured when he became the first man selected to the 2008 United States Olympic Triathlon Team.
Before he ever gets to China, though, the 25-year-old Sudbury native will appear on the cover of Wheaties -- “The Breakfast of Champions” -- which is coming out with a new, limited-edition package that features the former Lincoln-Sudbury Regional and Dartmouth College track star.
Shoemaker is a fierce competitor and credits his amazing success in triathlon to a combination of raw talent and personal drive.
He turned professional after competing in just four triathlons in 2003. Within two years Jarrod had won the Under 23 Nationals and World Championship. He qualified for the USA Triathlon's National Elite Team in 2006 and has racked up nine top 10 finishes in the past two years.
Last fall, Shoemaker completed an even more amazing feat by becoming the first member of the USA Triathlon Men's Team competing in the games in Beijing this summer. Now his sights are set on the Hy-Vee ITU World Cup in Des Moines, Iowa in June - the largest prize purse in professional triathlon competition.
"It's a great honor for me to be on the cover of the Wheaties box and to join the remarkable list of great athletes who have appeared on the package," Shoemaker said. "Every athlete dreams about one day seeing themselves on the cover of the 'Breakfast of Champions' package."
The new 15.6-ounce Wheaties package will only be available in Iowa and Boston.
-- Craig Larson