In 1989, The International Triathlon Union was founded as the international governing body of the sport of triathlon around the world. The official distance for triathlon was set at a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer draft-legal bike and a 10-kilometer run. This standard distance is used for the World Triathlon Championship Series and is featured at the Olympic Games. The ITU grew to include over 170 National Federations around the world.
In October 2020, the organization officially rebranded with its new identity, World Triathlon, in order to better serve the development of the sport in all its forms. World Triathlon sanctions many races around the world, including the World Triathlon Championship Series, World Triathlon Cups, and Continental Cups.
For more information about World Triathlon, go to triathlon.org
World Triathlon Rankings can be found here.
Many athletes grew up dreaming of representing their country at the Olympic Games and standing atop the medals podium. For triathletes, that gold medal dream became more of a reality in 2000 when the sport was added to the Olympic program at the Sydney Games. Four years later, the U.S. received its first medal when Susan Williams finished third in Athens, Greece. Gwen Jorgensen won the USA's first gold medal in Triathlon at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. In 2021, Katie Zaferes earned a bronze medal in Tokyo.
Triathlon was first introduced to the Paralympic Games in 2010 by the International Paralympic Committee, and was officially added to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the 2016 Paralympic Games, the United States fielded a team of nine athletes across six sport classes. These athletes included: Gold medalists Allysa Seely (PT2) and Grace Norman (PT4), Silver medalist Hailey Danz (PT2) and Bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell (PT2). At the 2020 Paralympic Games (held in Tokyo in 2021 due to a one-year pandemic delay), the U.S. led all countries in the medal count with five — three golds (Allysa Seely, Kendal Gretsch and Brad Snyder with guide Greg Billington) and two silvers (Hailey Danz and Grace Norman).
The Pan American Games occur every four years and always the year before the Olympic Games. This competition is reserved for members of Pan American countries which include North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Lima, Peru hosted the 2019 Pan American Games. Santiago, Chile will host the Pan American Games in 2023. In September 2021 Cali, Colombia hosted 3500 athletes at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games.
The World Triathlon Championship Series showcases the world's fastest triathletes as they travel to iconic cities and compete head-to-head on standard (Olympic-distance) and sprint courses for a chance to be crowned world champion.
World Triathlon Championship Series Schedule
With the advent of the World Triathlon Championship Series, the World Triathlon Cup events have become slightly less competitive than in previous Olympic quads. World Triathlon Cup races provide the perfect stepping stone to the top-level World Triathlon Championship Series and provides an opportunity to gain valuable World Triathlon, WTS and Olympic points, albeit at a lower level than the WTS events.
World Triathlon Cup Schedule
World Triathlon holds a series of elite races on each continent that are more developmental in nature and offer smaller prize purses and international points. These races are ideal for the younger or less experienced athletes to learn to compete and become successful in elite triathlon before graduating to World Cup and WTS events.
Continental Cup Schedule