Penticton age group duathlon racer Paul Varga grabs the hand of U.S. competitior Sister Madonna Buder as they near the transition area to the bike on Monday at the International Multisport Championship. Kristi Patton/Penticton Western News

Letter: Thank you for the photo and ITU coverage

Having the moment memorialized in a photo means even more

Someone wrote me an email today saying they saw my photo in a newspaper running with an “older” American woman — they said she looked incredible.

I wanted to write and say thank you to the photographer, and to the Penticton Western newspaper staff, because that “older” American woman was Madonna Buder, an 87-year-old Nun from the U.S. Sister Buder has earned the nickname “The Iron Nun” because she has done more than 40 Ironman triathlons since taking up the sport of triathlon around 40 years ago. If I was the kind of person who participates in hero-worship, she’d be the person I would consider my hero.

Related: Iron Nun a world champion in Penticton

Getting the chance to shake her hand while we were both competing in the same race meant a lot to me. Having the moment memorialized in a photo means even more.

Thank you, Kristi Patton, for taking that photo, and to Emanuel Sequiera for writing an article about me prior to the race, and to the entire Western News team for doing a great job of covering what has been an inspirational event in Penticton. Kudos to Kristi and your team!

S. Paul Varga


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