He may be the only Lao Iron Man in town. Meet Addy Thongsonlone from Oahu, Hawaii. Addy works as a police detective by day and trains as a triathlete in his free time. Addy talks about his humble beginnings in Hawaii, being Lao American, and securing his spot in the 2016 Iron Man World Championship, one of the most competitive and internationally-known triathlons. And that’s why he’s the Lao-Diaspora-of-the-Week.
Tell us about yourself.
I work full-time as a police detective and train for various marathons and triathlons in my spare time. I come from a humble background and believe hard work will get you everywhere you want to go.
What’s your family’s journey?
My father is originally from Laos, and my mother is from Thailand. They married and moved to Hawaii in the 1980s in search of a better life, more opportunities for the family, and also a desire to escape the lingering effects of war in Laos. I am Lao American but thanks to my parents, am very immersed in my Laotian culture.
Favorite Lao dish:
Gang nor mai (Bamboo Soup)
What drives you?
I’m passionate about living a healthy, yet fun lifestyle. Joining and participating in competitions, whether it is the Ironman championship or the Honolulu marathon, allows me to push my limits physically. I like setting a goal and reaching it as it’s an exhilarating feeling to discover what your body is capable of. Being physically active keeps me focused and promotes a positive outlook on life. In the future, I hope to be able to encourage, guide, and help others reach their fitness goals to stay healthy.
Any advice for anyone wanting to enter Ironman?
Don’t give up. Training for the Ironman can be intense and you may want to give up at times. But find your motivating factor and keep focused on it. It will be an amazing feeling when you cross the finish line and become an Ironman.
Follow Addy’s journey at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii starting this Fall on October 8, 2016. Learn more about Addy by following his Instagram: @the.ociffer.
Know a Lao person in your life trailblazing the path for others, re-inventing cultural traditions, or simply doing amazing things? Nominate them for a highlight as Lao-Diaspora-of-the-Week. Send a photo, name, work, and why they should be the next Lao-Diaspora-of-the-Week to firstname.lastname@example.org.