USA Triathlon Further Professionalizes Paratriathlon With Equal Funding, Professional Prize Purse At National Championships
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Valuing its role in helping further professionalize the sport of paratriathlon, USA Triathlon today announced that each member of the 2022 Toyota U.S. Elite Paratriathlon National Team will receive direct athlete support stipends equal to that of the funding the athletes on the 2022 U.S. Elite National Team receive and that for the third year, in partnership with Toyota and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a professional prize purse of $36,750 will be offered for athletes who medal at the 2022 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships.
In addition, USA Triathlon today announced the five events that will make up the 2022 Paratriathlon Development Race Series, a set of races for emerging paratriathletes who aspire to compete at a future Paralympic Games. Participants will be able to gain experience racing at the national level, and strong performances will earn consideration for the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Development Team and allow athletes to earn elite paratriathlon licenses.
“USA Triathlon, along with our partners at Toyota and CAF, continue to set the bar for professionalizing paratriathlon. Competing at the elite level in paratriathlon is a big financial commitment — athletes are paying for equipment, travel, coaching, sports medicine, prosthetics and more. We are proud to offer equal funding for our Elite Paratriathlon National Team and a prize purse at Paratriathlon Nationals will help provide increased exposure and promotion for U.S. athletes,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, USA Triathlon Paralympic Program Director. “We’re also proud to work with leading paratriathlon race directors, coaches and clubs to host these races and clinics as part of the 2022 Paratriathlon Development Race Series. We look forward to connecting with new paratriathletes and identifying the next Paralympians.”
USA Triathlon’s Exclusive Mobility & Automotive Partner, Toyota has shown unparalleled commitment to the paratriathlon program, serving as the title partner of the Toyota U.S. Elite Paratriathlon National Team and for the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships. Toyota also continues to support the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team, now in its fifth year at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“Toyota is excited to once again partner with USA Triathlon and Challenged Athletes Foundation to award a prize purse for medalists at the 2022 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, sponsorship strategy, integration & activation, Toyota Motor North America. “The participants competing in this Championship have worked hard to reach their goal of becoming elite athletes, and with Toyota’s commitment to inclusivity through mobility, we feel it’s vital that these athletes are recognized for their accomplishments. We look forward to watching the athletes compete and are proud to work with the USA Triathlon and Challenged Athletes Foundation to increase awareness around the sport of paratriathlon.”
“Sports are the platform for people to live their best life and CAF is committed to providing access and opportunities in athletics,” said Bob Babbitt, CAF Co-Founder. “Our strong partnership with USA Triathlon and Toyota will allow athletes to get the support and recognition they deserve to further grow the sport of paratriathlon.”
Equal Funding and Professional Prize Purse
Showing a commitment to equitable treatment of all elite athletes, USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation will support each member of the 2022 Toyota U.S. Elite Paratriathlon National Team with direct athlete stipends equal to that of the funding athletes on the 2022 U.S. Elite National Team receive. A portion of the funding for the athlete stipends is provided through USA Triathlon Foundation donors. Direct athlete stipends support the 10 team members with living and training expenses.
In addition, for the third year, a professional prize purse will be offered for athletes who medal at the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships. The $36,750 total purse will be provided in equal amounts by USA Triathlon, Toyota and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). The prize purse will be distributed to the podium finishers in each medal event. The National Championships will be held Sunday, July 17, in Long Beach, California, in conjunction with the Toyota Legacy Triathlon. The race will take place at Alamitos Beach, the proposed site of the triathlon competitions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
To compete at Nationals in Long Beach, athletes must be officially classified in a paratriathlon sport class and must meet the qualification standards, which can be found at usatriathlon.org. Athletes who are not classified or who do not meet the qualification standards may choose to compete in the PC Open Division.
2022 Paratriathlon Development Race Series
The 2022 Paratriathlon Development Race Series is a set of races for emerging paratriathletes who aspire to compete at a future Paralympic Games. Participants in the series will be able to gain experience racing at the national level, and strong performances will earn consideration for the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Development Team and allow athletes to earn elite paratriathlon licenses.
The series begins with the Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon on April 10, in Cocoa Beach, Florida, followed by the Sylvan Beach Triathlon on May 15, in La Porte, Texas. The third stop of the series is Leon’s Triathlon on June 5, in Hammond, Indiana. Leon’s Triathlon also serves as the USA Triathlon Military and First Responders National Championships, which features specific award categories for Paratriathlon Military and Paratriathlon First Responders.
The fourth race in the series will be held June 26 at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The series then culminates with the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships, set for July 17, as part of the Toyota Legacy Triathlon in Long Beach, California.
All races will be sprint-distance, covering a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. No qualification is required for the first four races of the series, but athletes must have a USA Triathlon membership and be classified in a paratriathlon sport class, or have been given a provisional classification. Athletes who are not currently nationally or internationally classified but are interested in competing may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about getting a provisional classification.
At the five series events, USA Triathlon will host beginner paratriathlon clinics on the Saturday before race day. Open to all paratriathletes who are registered to race, the clinics will cover introductory training, racing and transition tips, as well as an overview of USA Triathlon’s paratriathlon pipeline.
The clinics are led by USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Certified Coaches:
• Liesl Begnaud at the Cocoa Beach Triathlon
• Diego Olivieri at the Sylvan Beach Triathlon
• Dan Tun in partnership with Dare2Tri Paratriathlon Club at Leon’s Triathlon
• Kristen Hench at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon
• Deb Carabet, in collaboration with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, at the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships
To learn more and to get involved with USA Triathlon’s grassroots and elite paratriathlon programming and recruitment, visit usaparatriathon.org or email email@example.com. For inquiries specific to the 2022 Paratriathlon Development Race Series and clinics, email Lindsay Jerdonek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elite Paratriathlon Season Underway
The elite paratriathlon season kicked off on March 13 at the Americas Triathlon Para Championships Sarasota-Bradenton. Team USA claimed eight gold medals, including victories from 2020 Tokyo Paralympic silver medalists Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio), who won the women’s PTS5 event and Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who won the women’s PTS2 race.
The events in Sarasota-Bradenton also included the first-ever paratriathlon mixed relay. Male and female elite paratriathletes from different para classifications teamed up to form mixed relay teams, similar to the mixed relay event that made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The paratriathlon mixed relay at Sarasota-Bradenton served as a test event with the hopes of the event being included in the Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
Elite paratriathlon competition resumes on May 14 with the first race of the 2022 World Triathlon Para Series in Yokohama.
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About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $134 million has been raised and over 35,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and over 70 countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit https://www.challengedathletes.org/ or call 858-866-0959.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).