By Masa Takaya on 01/12/10 at 12:22 am
Olympic champion Simon Whitfield and former ITU and Triathlon Canada President Les McDonald joined Triathlon Canada and more than 100 of its community to celebrate Triathlon Canada’s 25 year anniversary at its 2010 Annual General Meeting and Gala in Quebec City on Saturday.
The sport has been growing at a rapid pace around the globe with a dramatic increase in participation of more than 300 per cent in the last five years, Canada’s top triathlon leaders, athletes and administrators over the last quarter-century gathered to mark the important milestone in the organisation’s history.
Stephen Holmes, president, Triathlon Canada, said:
“It has been an incredible ride for the sport of triathlon since the first recorded event was staged in California in 1974, which led to the formation of national federations and the International Triathlon Union in 1989. Canada has played a critical role in the international growth of our sport, and it is an absolute pleasure to bring together many of our sport’s greatest Canadian personalities – from athletes and coaches to volunteers.
“When Simon Whitfield crossed the finish line in Sydney to win the first Olympic gold medal awarded in men’s triathlon, it was a day of sweet validation. Not only did a Canadian make history by winning the first event, but Les’ baby – the sport of triathlon – was on the Olympic stage following many tireless years of building and guiding its development around the world.
“Triathlon is such a unique sport in that it combines three of the most basic recreational activities we all learn as children into one thrilling sport. It is accessible, it is affordable, and most of all it is enjoyable while encouraging participants to live a healthy and more active lifestyle.”
Holmes was also joined by the former presidents of the Triathlon Canada Les McDonald and Bill Hallett. McDonald, who was the inaugural president of Triathlon Canada (1984-1996), and the International Triathlon Union (1989-2008), was the driving force behind the introduction of triathlon into the 2000 Olympic Summer Games programme, which was announced in 1994 at the IOC Congress in Paris, France.