ITU President enters hall of fame
Les McDonald, ITU President was inducted into the Triathlete Hall of Fame during a reception and dinner at San Diegos SeaWorld that was jam-packed with the multi-sport heroes past and present.
Mike Riley, formally known as the voice of the Ironman introduced McDonald listing his many accomplishments, beginning with his 5 Ironman titles and then steering the sport onto the Olympic Programme.
McDonalds words of thanks included a tribute to the many American athletes and leaders without whom none of this would have happened, including the Big Four of Mark Allen, Scott Tinley, Scott Molina and Dave Scott, as well as the pioneer work of Carl Thomas and Mike Gilmore.
It is fitting that we are here on Fiesta Island where the sport began in the late 70s. We need to find a way of recognizing those early events. If they had not happened anywhere else but right here in southern California, the sport would not have parachuted into the global phenomena that it has become.
McDonald also mentioned the Olympic athletes from the USA who have been such tremendous role models during our history as an Olympic sport, i.e., Barb Lindquist, Sheila Taormina, Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper.
Amongst some of the great athletes from the past and present for the evening of celebration were: Scott Tinley, multiple Ironman champion, author and broadcaster, Michellie Jones, 2000 Olympic Silver Medallist and 2006 Ironman Champion, Greg Welch, Ironman Champion, ITU Triathlon World Champion and multiple ITU World Cup Champion, Paula Newby-Fraser, the eight times Ironman Champion.
McDonald concluded his remarks with a special thank-you to John Duke, CEO/Pulbisher of Triathlete Magazine and Bob Babbot, Editor, Publisher of Competitor Magazine for recognizing the ITU Presidents contribution to the evolution of Triathlon. While in San Diego, Les McDonald also met with David Curnow, the former Secretary General of the United States Triathlon Federation and now active member of the ITU AWAD Commission, as well as Gale Bernhardt, coach and author.
Les McDonald (ITU President ) with Paula Newby-Fraser and Greg Welch