Olympic Solidarity programme supporting triathletes to Paris Olympics

by Ben Eastman on 04 Jun, 2024 06:41 • Español
Olympic Solidarity programme supporting triathletes to Paris Olympics

Among the various avenues of support for athletes towards reaching the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity programme has proven vital for many. Olympic icons such as Usain Bolt, Chad Le Clos, Yulimar Rojas and triathlon’s own Flora Duffy are among the beneficiaries of the programme, and a new generation of triathletes have likewise been able to use it to advance their Paris 2024 hopes.

Covering 26 sports in total, Olympic Solidarity supports athletes from 159 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) through monthly grants. These disbursements can cover costs such as travel, participation in competition and training-related expenses. It is through the Solidarity programme that the IOC strives to ensure that athletes from all backgrounds have the opportunity of competing at the Olympic Games. In doing so, the IOC is able to strengthen its commitment to universality and diversity at the Games.

It may thus be of little surprise that the three recipients of universality slots at this summer’s Olympic triathlon events are supported by the Solidarity programme. Edda Hannesdottir (ISL) was the sole female recipient of a universality place in triathlon and will become Iceland’s first Olympic representative in the sport. On the men’s side, Eloi Adjavon (TOG) and Tyler Smith (BER) also received Olympic invitations. The former will become Togo’s first Olympic triathlete, thereby expanding the sport as designed by the universality system. Meanwhile, Smith will be a part of a three-athlete Bermuda team in triathlon. The reigning Olympic champion Flora Duffy remains on the Solidarity programme, as does her fellow Olympic qualifier Erica Hawley.

Among the other Paris 2024 Scholarship Holders are Manami Iijima (GUM) and Matthew Wright (BAR). Iijima qualified for Paris as the first ever recipient of the women’s Oceania New Flag slot while Wright claimed the men’s Americas New Flag berth. Moreover, Diego Moya (CHI) successfully qualified for his second Games through the Olympic rankings.

Several further triathletes are supported by the Solidarity programme, although they narrowly missed out on Paris qualification. Oscar Coggins (HKG) was beaten by his compatriot Jason Tai Long Ng (HKG) to the men’s Asia New Flag spot in a sign of the growing depth of Hong Kong triathlon. Paula Vega (COL) and Bob Haller (LUX) also were denied in the Americas and Europe New Flag races, respectively.

Further Scholarship Holders include Andie Kuipers (ZIM), who won the silver medal at the Africa Championship earlier in the year, as well as Julie Staub (MRI), Josette Kiare (KEN) and Hanani Uwineza (RWA). With ongoing support through the Solidarity programme from the IOC, such athletes and plenty more in future will be able to move forwards in their pursuit of Olympic qualification in 2028.

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