VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Clarice Lorenzini has earned a lot of titles over the years, but there's one she is most proud of.
"I am an Asian American professional triathlete," she said. "And despite everything that's happened this past year, we are strong individuals. We belong to be here and there should be more of us in the sport."
Triathlons push an athlete's limits physically, emotionally and physically. Races include a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run.
Lorenzini said she's the only Asian American professional female triathlete actively competing in the Ironman circuit and she feels that feat to her core.
She recalls the moment she crossed the finish line at the IRONMAN North American Championship in Tulsa.
"The red carpet at IRONMAN - it's the last maybe 200 meters - and I saw it and I just broke out into tears because it wasn't, 'Oh gosh, this is done,' but more, 'I did this for people that I'm trying to make the world better for.' It quickly became so much more than being a professional triathlete."
Working a full-time job, in addition to training as a professional triathlete, Lorenzini is also changing the lives of local veterans at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
"We promote recreation and leisure opportunities for those that don't have healthy outlets," she said. "So, we utilize games and activities to relay across a life skill or intervention."
With every session, be it with patients or on the bike, she's hoping to set an example for young women.
"I am here to show you that you do belong here, but you need to push through some hard times and you can achieve your dreams," she said.