The International Triathlon Union’s bid to have Paratriathlon added to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games programme has been boosted today by a world championship squad. Reigning ITU Triathlon World Champions Emma Moffatt and Javier Gomez, joined by Ironman World Champions Mirinda Carfae and Chris McCormack, support ITU’s bid because of the sport’s social benefit and valuable contribution to the Paralympic Movement.
“I believe the sport of triathlon can stir one’s courage. It is a challenging sport, which is why the sport always gives me confidence to overcome something bigger,” said Moffatt, the 2009 and 2010 ITU Triathlon World Champion from Australia. “Having Paratriathlon in the Paralympics would have a tremendous impact for Paratriathletes and our society, letting global audiences learn the value of the Paralympics; courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
“Triathlon may be one of fastest growing sports in the world but the growth of Paratriathlon is remarkable,” said 2010 ITU Triathlon World Champion Gomez. “Should the sport be honoured to join the Paralympic Games, I believe, it would become another social catalyst for people to take up the sport.”
Mirinda Carfrae of Australia, the 2010 Ironman World Champion, noted inspirational Paratriathletes’ athletic performances and feels tremendous potential for the sport to grow in the international sporting movement.
“Speed, strength and spirit truly capture people’s attention and the inclusion of Paratriathlon would definitely contribute to the Paralympic Movement,” she added.
Aussie Chris McCormack, 1997 ITU Triathlon World Champion and 2007 & 2010 Ironman World Champion, refers to the atmosphere athletes can share in the sport, where the crowd cheers all athletes equally and gives everyone their own moment of glory as they finish.
“With this atmosphere, I believe the sport is a perfect fit with the spirit of the Paralympic Games. I’m fully backing the Paratriathlon bid for the Paralympics and I’d love to see the participants’ athletic achievements in Rio 2016,” he added.
The International Paralympic Committee will decide which, if any, new sports are to be added to the Rio 2016 programme during its Governing Board meeting on 11 December 2010 in Guangzhou, China. Seven sports have formally submitted their bid applications to the IPC.
ITU has supported the development of Paratriathlon for more than 15 years and has hosted a Paratriathlon World Championship each year since 1995. ITU is also fully committed to working closely with the IPC in the continued development of the sport and promoting the Paralympic Movement.