Tyler Butterfield has admitted Glasgow could be his last major Games for Bermuda.
Butterfield, 31, heads to Scotland for his third Commonwealth Games knowing his future lies in the longer distance Ironman races.
The honour of representing Bermuda and the fact he prequalified for Scotland meant there was never any danger of him not taking part in the triathlon at Strathclyde Country Park on July 24.
But his success on the Ironman circuit — he was recently third in Nice and finished a superb seventh at the Kona Ironman World Championships last year — means he has had to prioritize.
He remains determined to qualify for the Rio Olympics in two years but the slog for ITU points means that is not a certainty. “This is not as demanding as the Olympics in two years — qualifying for that will be a big call,” he told the Bermuda Sun. “But this is good — I get to represent Bermuda.
“There’s the Pan Ams in 2015 but, to be honest, this could be my last major Games if I don’t make the Olympics — and there’s a big chance I will go for Rio and not make it.”
The Commonwealth and Olympic sprint distance — a 1,500-metre open-water swim, 40-kilometre road cycle and a 10k run — is increasingly tough for the Bermudian.
“It’s short and fast,” he said, “and I’m better at long and steady, so I’m out of my comfort zone.”
An eventful podium finish at IRONMAN France saw Butterfield recover from a bike crash.
It’s meant his right hip has tightened up during the recovery period, although he insists it should not be an issue in Glasgow.
“After an Ironman I don’t do much training . The race went well and the recovery from the Ironman went well.
“The hip has tightened up, which means I haven’t done anything since, which is fine.”
He added: “I’ve had to sleep on my other side — but that’s the game we play!”
A former professional cyclist, Butterfield has been paying close attention to recent footage from the Tour de France, where many of the top names have crashed out in tough conditions.
It reminded him of more painful times. “We crash once a year in triathlon but these guys expect to crash three times year!”
A realist, he knows a finish around 15th would be good considering the calibre of athletes in the Commonwealth, which include the English Brownlee brothers — Alistair and Jonnny — who claimed gold and bronze at the London Olympics. Butterfield said: “At previous Commonwealth Games I have a 14th in the triathlon and an 11th on the bike — so if I can get 15th I would be happy with that.
“But a 15th in the Commonwealth Games doesn’t have the same standard in the world as being seventh in Kona, so I have had to prioritize.
“Saying that, the Commonwealth Games is a huge event, behind the Olympics it’s the second biggest for endurance in the world, so it’s a huge honour to represent Bermuda.”