An Even Match: Laurel & Rebeccah Wassner
Triathlons are a natural extension for the Wassner Twins’ love of life, sisterhood, and sport itself.
Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner have been participating in organized sports together since they were five years old. What began with basketball, softball, and tennis quickly evolved into a passion for swimming, running, and, later, biking — the athletic trifecta that would define the pace of their lives for the next thirty years. Now 38, and full-time professional triathletes, the sisters compete in races worldwide, sometimes together, sometimes apart, and winning awards at usually every juncture. And yet this almost never came to pass. At 23, Laurel was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer, which shelved her budding triathlete career for nearly five years, as she endured chemotherapy and a gruelling recovery.
During that time, her biggest inspiration was witnessing Rebeccah bud into a triathlete herself. Despite the latter’s head start, the sisters are once again an even match — a pairing that was on full display as they went head to head in the New York City Triathlon this August. With twin identities fused from competition, adversity, and a love of life through sports, whomever wins between the two of them is less important than how they got there together and where they’ll go to next.