Declan Irvine had an active childhood growing up in Australia complete with motocross, sailing, soccer, swimming and bikes. From an early age, he was interested to try every sport available.
When Irvine was 12 years old, he returned home from a two-week ski trip and his family noticed he had lost a significant amount of weight. A week later, he started feeling very sick. On the morning of August 11th, he had lost his vision. He went to the hospital where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was lucky to have a very supportive hospital team who told him that diabetes should never define him.
Fortunately, Irvine had a fellow classmate and soccer teammate who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was only a year old. Irvine knew that this kid was active, so it gave Irvine hope that he could go back to the same activities. A week after being released from the hospital, he played in his soccer team’s grand finals. While they lost, Irvine credits it with being the first moment he felt “normal” again.
When he was 14, Irvine started doing triathlons and quickly got addicted to the training and competing. As a junior, he came in second at the Australian Duathlon Championship and represented Australia at the 2015 World Duathlon Championships. That July, Irvine attended one of Team Novo Nordisk’s talent ID camps in the United States. Irvine describes attending camp as a truly memorable experience, “Since being diagnosed I had never come across another athlete with diabetes. So to be in an environment with 20 other athletes with type 1 diabetes was so cool. It was comforting to know I wasn’t alone.”
The following season, Irvine joined Team Novo Nordisk’s junior team. He won three races in Belgium and earned multiple podium finishes. He has since won the New South Wales road race and criterium state titles.
Off the bike, Irvine enjoys spending time with his family and dog, Tillie.