June 17,2014(ISN) – The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is to honour its most illustrious competitors by launching a Hall of Fame this year as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.
The ITU Hall Of Fame is due to be launched at a Gala during ITU’s World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Edmonton on September 1.
“ITU’s 25th anniversary is a landmark year to celebrate the success of all of those who have made triathlon what it is today,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.
“Without the work, support and dedication of the athletes, leaders, officials and volunteers over the last quarter century, we would not be where we are today. It is time to pause and recognize those that laid the foundation upon which we are able to continue evolving our great sport.”
Up to 25 individuals will be shortlisted for the first annual induction, with a maximum of nine of those nominated to be inaugurated into the Hall of Fame.
The nominations will be divided into the categories of elite female and male athlete accomplishments, as well as lifetime achievements in the sport of triathlon.
For the inaugural 2014 Hall Of Fame, ITU’s Executive Board will be responsible for preparing a shortlist of nominees for final consideration as inductees, which will be announced by June 30.
Canada’s Simon Whitfield, winner of the first men’s Olympic triathlon title in 2000, shows off the silver he won eight years later in Beijing. He is likely to be in the mix when the new ITU Hall of Fame is put in place ©Getty Images
Among those who would be well advised to polish up their acceptance speeches will be Simon Lessing, the Briton who holds the record of four world titles wins in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, Canada’s Simon Whitfield, winner of the first men’s Olympic title in 2000 who added a silver eight years later in Beijing, Javier Gomez of Spain, world champion in 2010 and 2013 and Olympic silver medallist at London 2012, and Britain’s Alistair Brownlee, world champion in 2009 and 2011 and London 2012 Olympic champion.
On the women’s side, there will certainly be places for Australia’s Michellie Jones, winner of the world title in 1992 and 1993 who took silver at the first Olympic triathlon on the home territory of Sydney in 2000.
Her Australian colleague Emma Snowsill, world champion in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and Olympic champion in 2008, will also earn her place.
The induction ceremony will take place during the 2014 Edmonton World Triathlon Grand Final closing ceremonies banquet with more than 4,000 athletes and dignitaries in attendance.
Australia’s Emma Snowsill, three times a world champion and gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is a strong contender for the ITU Hall of Fame ©Getty Images
In addition to the 25 year celebrations, ITU will also publish a commemorative 25 year anniversary book and will hold its final Executive Board of the year meeting in Avignon, France, where ITU’s first Congress was held in 1989.
The ITU was set up in that year with the target of getting the sport into the Olympic programme, a target it achieved at the 2000 Sydney Games.