Bob Babbitt, host of Babbittville Radio, interviewed each of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Class of 2014 inductees on his show. Visit Babbittville Radio to listen.
Looking Back: USAT HOF
CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR NOMINATION TO THE USA TRIATHLON HALL OF FAME
I. MISSION STATEMENT
The USA Triathlon Hall of Fame serves to recognize, honor and commemorate those individuals, groups and entities that have demonstrated excellence in every aspect of multisport and inspire others to elevate their performance, participation and involvement in multisport in their communities.
II. CATEGORIES OF ELIGIBILITY
An athlete shall be eligible for nomination in this category if he or she, while licensed as an elite athlete by USA Triathlon or its predecessors, competed with great success in national or world events over a period of years; demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, and contributed in other ways to the betterment of multisport. Achievements in all disciplines governed by USA Triathlon may be considered, including but not necessarily limited to those in triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, paratriathlon, off-road and winter triathlon. To be nominated, an elite athlete must have not competed as an elite athlete for at least three years prior to consideration or have reached the age of 40. Nominees must be a U.S. citizen at the time of achievement.
Age-group athletes — men and women
An athlete shall be eligible for nomination in this category if the athlete, while licensed as an age group athlete by USA Triathlon or its predecessors, competed with great success in major national or world events over a period of years; demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship; and contributed in other ways to the betterment of multisport. Achievements in all disciplines governed by USA Triathlon may be considered, including but not necessarily limited to those in triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, paratriathlon, off-road, and winter triathlon. Nominees must be a U.S. citizen at the time of achievement.
This category is intended to encompass a broad array of people and activities associated with the disciplines governed by USA Triathlon. Nominees must be a U.S. citizen or be a U.S. national (someone who has resided in the U.S. for three consecutive years) at the time of contribution.A contributor shall be eligible in this category:
A. If he or she has made significant contributions to the growth, reputation, character, and/or success of any of the disciplines governed by USA Triathlon. Contributions in a wide variety of categories may be considered, including, but not limited to sport pioneer; event organizer; event official; inventor of equipment processes, or systems; member of the media; coach; trainer;volunteer; and/or service to the governing body;
B. If a person made a single or brief, but significant and unique contribution to the any of the disciplines governed by USA Triathlon.
Class of 2014
Olympic bronze medalist Susan Williams, IRONMAN World Champion Tim DeBoom, multisport contributor Dan Empfield, age-group multisport stars Bill Bell and Karen McKeachie and paratriathlete pioneer Carlos Moleda were announced as the seventh induction class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
“We are thrilled to welcome this stellar class into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame,” said Jon Gray Noll, chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Executive Committee. “The inductees represent every aspect of multisport, from elite athlete to contributor, and we could not be more proud of both their accomplishments and their respective roles in the promotion of our sport.”
Founded in 2008, the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame has recognized the best performances and contributions in the sport’s 40-year history. This year’s class brings the total number of inductees to 33.
About this year’s USA Triathlon Hall of Fame inductees:
Bill Bell — Age-Group Athlete (Palm Desert, Calif.)
Bill Bell has been competing in multisport events for more than 30 years, having entered his first race in 1982. He completed his last full IRONMAN triathlon at age 78, but still competes in multisport events at age 92. A member of the USA Triathlon Century Club, his list of 300-plus completed triathlons includes 32 IRONMAN triathlons, with 19 of those at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and 41 IRONMAN 70.3 events. Bell won his age group at the IRONMAN World Championship in 1994-1997 and 1999. He also won his age group in the 1983 and 1985 Ultraman races and the World’s Toughest Triathlon in 1987, 1991 and 1992.
Tim DeBoom — Elite Athlete (Boulder, Colo.)
An elite athlete for nearly two decades from 1995-2012, Tim DeBoom is best known for his performances at the IRONMAN World Championship, winning the overall title in 2001-02 and finishing as the top overall U.S. finisher for six years. Before his elite career, DeBoom was the top age-group finisher at the ITU World Championships in 1993-94. DeBoom owned a production company from 2009-12, producing events such as the SOMA and Marquee Triathlons. He has written a monthly column for Triathlete Magazine since 2008 and works with his former sponsors PowerBar Nutrition, Shimano and Pearl Izumi as a consultant with a focus on product development and athlete recruitment.
Dan Empfield — Contributor (Valyermo, Calif.)
Paving the way for thousands of athletes, Dan Empfield is the founder of Quintana Roo and inventor of the triathlon-specific wetsuit, which first sold in early 1987. He also created an innovative system of bike fitting now known as FitInstitute Slow Twitch (FIST) — recognized globally by most major bike manufacturers. As a race director, Empfield resurrected the U.S. Triathlon Series, hosting 21 events between 1997-99. He co-authored a membership initiative in 2005 in relation to USA Triathlon’s election processes, which amended the bylaws to improve the process moving forward. Empfield is the founder and owner of Slowtwitch.com, and completed his first triathlon in 1980.
Karen McKeachie — Age-Group Athlete (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Karen McKeachie has a storied career as a 15-time national champion and a six-time world champion. She was named USA Triathlon’s Overall Triathlete of the Year in 1999, the only 40-plus female age-group athlete to be awarded the honor, and was the USA Triathlon Masters Triathlete of the Year in 2000. McKeachie was the overall winner of the 2011 Trek Women’s Triathlon in Howell, Michigan, and at 58 years, 5 months, 8 days, is believed to be the oldest athlete ever to win her gender outright in a race with 200-plus finishers. A prolific race director of running races, triathlons and marathon swims, McKeachie also co-founded Triathlon Today magazine (later Inside Triathlon) and created the first-ever women’s bike saddle.
Carlos Moleda — Age-Group Athlete (Bluffton, S.C.)
One of the most familiar names in wheelchair racing, Carlos Moleda is seen as a pioneer for the sport. A Navy SEAL and Purple Heart recipient, Moleda was injured in the line of duty and was paralyzed in 1989. After an introduction to triathlon, Moleda became the first handcycle athlete to break 11 hours at the IRONMAN World Championship and won the division four times. He is a seven-time national champion and also won the Buffalo Springs Triathlon, the only wheelchair qualifier for the IRONMAN World Championship, twice. Moleda has helped to develop rules for paratriathlon events, and he completed Race Across America in 8 days, 9 hours on a four-person handcycle relay team.
Susan Williams — Elite Athlete (Littleton, Colo.)
The bronze medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Susan Williams is the only American triathlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games. Before transitioning to an elite athlete in 1997, Williams was a champion age-group triathlete who logged the fastest time at the 1996 ITU World Championships. In her return to age-group racing, she clocked in as the fastest overall woman at the 2011 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. An All-American high school swimmer and captain of the University of Alabama swim team, she continues to participate in the sport as a coach and serves on the USA Triathlon committee to develop qualification criteria for the Olympic Games and the Pan American Games.