By Fergus Murray on 12/02/10 at 8:07 pm
On a historical day for ITU, the International Olympic Committee today elected ITU President Marisol Casado as one of six new IOC Members at the 122nd IOC Session, ahead of the Winter Olympic Games. Casado’s election to the IOC as a full member is an honour for the entire triathlon family, further reinforcing ITU’s commitment to the global development of the sport.
“It is truly a great honour to be elected as an IOC Member. I would like to extend gratitude to my new colleagues for their warmest support. I am also eternally grateful to the entire triathlon family whom I have been working with more than 30 years. I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to the athletes, coaches and national federations who play a vital role in the development of the sport. I am very excited to dedicate myself to the continued success of triathlon in the Olympic movement,” said Casado.
The election today comes after years of dedication and commitment to the sport from Marisol on all levels. She was one of the founders of the Spanish Triathlon Federation and intimately involved in the creation of ITU in Avignon in 1989. Casado served as Secretary General of the Spanish Triathlon Federation (1989–1994 and 1997–2008), concurrently acting as Treasurer of ITU (1992–1994 and 2000–2008). The ITU president is a leading figure in the promotion of women in sport in Spain, serving as President of Women and Sport Commission in the Spanish Olympic Committee (1992-1994 and 2000 to present).
Having a federation president as an IOC member is seen to strengthen ITU’s position in the Olympic family, and will further foster the global growth of the sport.
“I believe triathlon is a sport which promotes the Olympic ideals and a sport which can address issues such as environmental awareness and a healthy lifestyle. Triathlon is a young inspirational sport which links sport competition at its highest level to a healthy balanced lifestyle for all participants of all abilities,” Casado continued.
2010 is another historical year for the sport, seeing sprint and team events added to the Olympic programme at the Youth Olympic Games. The continued success of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and ITU Triathlon World Cup Series, will also bring triathlon in its finest form to a rapidly growing global audience.
“The sport will see a significant milestone this summer at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, introducing sprint triathlon and 4x mixed team relay triathlon for first time in the Olympic Games. Working closely together with my new colleagues, the organising committee and our triathlon family, we will do our very best to contribute to the successful inaugural event.
Global sport development as typified by ITU’s development projects has always been our core activity, in keeping with the spirit of the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity programmes,” the ITU President said.
Images provided courtesy of the IOC. © IOC/Richard Juilliart