Rio 2016 - Olympic Games


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Rio 2016 - Paralympic Games


Sept 10, 2016 10:00 AM
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Triathlon was invented in the early 1970s by the San Diego Track Club, as an alternative workout to the rigours of track training. The club’s first event consisted of a 10km run, an 8km cycle and a 500 metre swim.

Over the next decade, triathlon grew by leaps and bounds and soon gained recognition throughout the world. In early April 1989, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded at the first Congress in Avignon, France, the very city that hosted the first official world championships on August 6 later that year. ITU has maintained its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada since then. Triathlon was awarded full medal Olympic status in 1994.

The official distance for Olympic triathlon was set at a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike and a 10-kilometer run - taken from existing events in each discipline already on the Olympic programme.

Since 1989, the sport has grown rapidly and now has over 120 affiliated National Federations around the world.

Olympic History

What has happened so far

Triathlon made its official Olympic debut in Sydney, where Simon Whitfield and Brigitte McMahon stamped their names in the history books as the first gold medallists. In Athens, it was Hamish Carter and Kate Allen’s golden turn before Emma Snowsill and Jan Frodeno won the gold in Beijing.

Click here for a replay of the men’s triathlon in London
Click here for replay of the women’s triathlon in London

Click here for highlights of the women’s triathlon in Beijing
Click here for highlights of the men’s triathlon in Beijing

Overall, Australia are on top of the Olympic medal tally with a total of four. As well as Snowsill’s gold, Australian women have collected two silver medals, Michellie Jones in Sydney and Loretta Harrop in Athens and one bronze, Emma Moffatt in Beijing. New Zealand and Switzerland have three medals each, each with a gold, then Canada and Germany have two medals. Whitfield has both of those medals for Canada. Austria, Czech Republic and the USA currently have one Olympic medal each.

The holder of the most impressive statistic though goes to New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty, who is currently the only triathlete to win an Olympic medal at each Games they have contested. Docherty won silver in Athens and then bronze in Beijing.

Olympic Medal Tally

As at the conclusion of the London 2012 Olympic Games


Games Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney Simon Whitfield (CAN) Stephan Vuckovic (GER) Jan Řehula (CZE)
2004 Athens Hamish Carter (NZL) Bevan Docherty (NZL) Sven Riederer (SUI)
2008 Beijing Jan Frodeno (GER) Simon Whitfield (CAN) Bevan Docherty (NZL)
2012 London Alistair Brownlee (GBR) Javier Gomez (ESP) Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney Brigitte McMahon (SUI) Michellie Jones (AUS) Magali Di Marco (SUI)
2004 Athens Kate Allen (AUT) Loretta Harrop (AUS) Susan Williams (USA)
2008 Beijing Emma Snowsill (AUS) Vanessa Fernandes (POR) Emma Moffatt (AUS)
2012 London Nicola Spirig (SUI) Lisa Norden (SWE) Erin Densham (AUS)

Olympic Medal Tally

NOC Total Gold Silver Bronze
Australia (AUS) 5 1 2 2
Switzerland (SUI) 4 2 0 2
New Zealand (NZL) 3 1 1 1
Canada (CAN) 2 1 1 0
Germany (GER) 2 1 1 0
Great Britain (GBR) 2 1 0 1
Austria (AUT) 1 1 0 0
Portugal (POR) 1 0 1 0
Spain (ESP) 1 0 1 0
Sweden (SWE) 1 0 1 0
Czech Republic (CZE) 1 0 0 1
United States (USA) 1 0 0 1