The International Triathlon Union (ITU) today named Edmonton as the host city for the 26th edition of the ITU World Championships Grand Final in 2014.
“Edmonton has been a staple city on the ITU calendar for many years,” ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado said. “Given their extensive experience organizing ITU events, we have no doubt they will host a world class event that continues to push the standards of excellence we have seen in our Grand Final events.”
The event will mark the fourth time Canada has hosted the Grand Final, with Edmonton having organised the race in 2001. Edmonton was also the site of nine world cup events in the last 10 years and has welcomed PATCO Junior Triathlon Pan American races on four occasions, in addition to a stand-alone Paratriathlon race in 2012.
“We are very committed to bringing sporting events to Edmonton,” Jane Batty, the city’s Deputy Mayor, said. “We can provide a great atmosphere for the race, but what ITU triathlon provides to our community is ever greater.”
In addition to crowning the 2014 ITU World Champions, the event will also name world champions in junior and U23 categories, as well as Paratriathlon, which will debut in the Paralympics at Rio 2016. After record-high numbers of age-group triathletes descended on Auckland in 2012, thousands of athletes from around the world are expected to travel to Edmonton.
The ITU Triathlon World Championships were first held in Avignon, France in 1989. In 2009, the championships were revamped, expanding the former single-day World Championship race into an exciting multi-city global series, culminating with the ITU Triathlon World Championship Grand Final. Athletes earn points throughout the season and those who win the overall series are crowned the ITU Triathlon World Champions.
The 2013 ITU World Championships will be held at the Grand Final in London 11-15 September where age-group athletes will get the opportunity to participate on much the same course as the 2012 London Olympics in Hyde Park.
Official dates for the 2014 World Championships will be confirmed and announced as soon as possible.
Edmonton wins bid to host 2014 ITU Grand Final triathlon
Marquee race attracts 6,000 athletes, reaches 21 million tv audience
By Bernie Poitras – Edmonton Triathlon Academy
The Grand Final, triathlon’s largest race on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) calendar, is coming to Edmonton in September, 2014. The Edmonton Triathlon Academy was awarded the rights to stage the event following its presentation at an ITU Executive Board meeting in Madrid, Spain over the weekend.
Edmonton will replace San Diego as host the Series Grand Final, the final race on the 2014 World Triathlon Series calendar. The event will attract more than 5,000 athletes and a worldwide television audience of 21 million in 160 countries.
“We’re ecstatic about hosting the triathlon world in 2014,” says Sheila O’Kelly, Executive Director, Edmonton Triathlon Academy. “The Grand Final is the biggest stage of the year for triathletes and Edmonton is a perfect setting for the world’s best – more than 5,000 elite, age group, junior and paratriathletes from all continents will descend on Edmonton.”
“The awarding of the 2014 ITU Grand Final reinforces that Edmonton is Canada’s triathlon city and that we are one of the world’s top triathlon cities,” says Councillor and Academy board member Jane Batty. “This is an exciting opportunity for Edmontonians to welcome not only participants, coaches and fans to our city, but also to showcase Edmonton to the more than 21 million TV viewers around the world, who are expected to watch the action. The event is also expected to provide an expected economic impact of $16 million into the city, making it a truly win-win situation.”
In October 2012, the Edmonton Triathlon Academy agreed to consider hosting the race when organizers in San Diego withdrew their intent to host the international event. The race will bring an estimated economic impact of $16 million. The bid was supported by a City of Edmonton financial contribution of $2 million and the total operating budget for the week-long event is $5+ million.
Since November 2012, the Academy has been working with ITU and the City of Edmonton to review the swimming venue currently used for the World Cup and assess its suitability for a large scale race. On January 23, Edmonton City Council approved and additional $1.3 million in funding to make upgrades to Hawrelak Lake. Funding from other levels of government and sponsorship revenue will make up the rest of the funds required to put on the race.
Triathlon Canada Testimonials
PAULA FINDLAY – Edmonton – Olympian and Five-Time World Triathlon Series Winner
“I’m thrilled that Edmonton will host the 2014 World Championships. I spend most of the year travelling overseas to major international triathlons, so the idea of having the biggest race of the season on home soil is very exciting.”
“It will be a huge benefit for all Canadian elite and age-group athletes to be racing in Canada, being familiar with the course and culture, and having enormous crowd support. It’s fantastic for the sport of Triathlon and for the City of Edmonton that we are hosting another World Championship. I’m grateful for the efforts of everyone who has worked hard to get this event back in Edmonton, and I’m so excited to show the world why we’re the City of Champions.”
“I remember watching the 2001 World Triathlon Championships in Hawrelak Park before I had started the sport myself. It was inspiring to watch Simon Whitfield, who was fresh off his Olympic gold medal in Sydney, and all of the other world-class athletes competing right in front of me. It inspired me to get into sport, and I hope that the 2014 World Championships will have the same effect on our next generation of superstars.”
KYLE JONES – Oakville, Ont. – Olympian and Winner of 2012 Edmonton World Cup
“Hosting the World Championship Grand Final has so many positives. It’s a huge opportunity for Edmonton to showcase its city to the world, and also serves as a tremendous opportunity to continue the growth of triathlon across Canada.”
“We compete in a unique sport – one that is contagious – so any chance we have to bring awareness to the sport at home will no doubt increase participation. As an athlete, anytime you have the opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd is a special thing, and for it to be a World Championship event just takes it to another level.”
“Edmonton has been a special place in my career. I won my first World Cup and National Championship there. We are always treated so well in Edmonton. To race a Grand Final in front of such a supportive community like Edmonton will be unforgettable.”
“I think racing in Edmonton will also be a great precursor for Canadian sports fans ahead of the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015, and of course the 2016 Olympics in Rio. It also presents a unique opportunity for our age group athletes to compete at home – giving them a chance for them to race with friends and family cheering them on from the sidelines.”
ALAN TRIVETT – Chief Executive Officer, Triathlon Canada
“This is an exciting day for the organizing committee, and our sport in Canada, as we now have the opportunity to prepare to host the largest and most significant triathlon event of the year in 2014. I commend Sheila O’Kelly and the Edmonton World Cup Organizing Committee for their tireless efforts in winning this bid for Canada. It is this type of passion and commitment to excellence exemplified by the dedicated group in Edmonton that Triathlon Canada strives to achieve. We are delighted to have them on our team, and are grateful for their efforts.”
“Triathlon Canada applauds the vision by the International Triathlon Union for recognizing the opportunity of hosting an event of this magnitude on Canadian soil. This is the Olympics in a non-Olympic year, and we look forward to working with the ITU and the Edmonton World Cup Organizing Committee to ensure Canada stages the best Grand Final ever.”
LIBBY BURRELL – High-Performance Director, Triathlon Canada
“The 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver left behind a legacy of what can be achieved in terms of how brightly Canadian athletes can shine when given the chance to compete against the best in the world on home soil. We now have a similar opportunity in our sport here in Canada.”
The City of Edmonton did us proud in 2001 when they hosted the then ‘best-ever’ ITU Triathlon World Championships. I believe they will once again raise the bar, and host a spectacular event in 2014. The value of competing in a World Championships at home can never be underestimated, and I have no doubt that all the triathletes and paratriathletes will enjoy the home advantage as they take on the rest of the world. In every respect this is very exciting for our sport – especially in the lead up to Toronto 2015 and Rio 2016.”