Triathlon’s presence at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland was bolstered after Yuka Sato’s historic race-worn suit was added to the collections. Japan’s Sato joined Olympic legends after being crowned the first Youth Olympic Games gold medalist this past August in Singapore.
Staged on the first day of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, Sato dominated the women’s triathlon field and completed the sprint-distance race (750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run) in 1 hour, 49 seconds.
“It is my great pleasure that my uniform becomes part of the distinguished collections in the Olympic Museum. The Youth Olympics was such a precious experience as it gave me a lot of confidence in my career as an athlete,” said Sato. “It was also great to know athletes from other countries and learn their backgrounds and cultures. I would love to compete with those Young Olympians again at the Olympic Games in the future.”
“The Youth Games marked a milestone in the Olympic Movement, and the entire triathlon family is pleased to see that Yuka’s collection will tell the history as a part of the museum,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President. “As a member of the IOC, I would also like to thank her for her kind donation and congratulate again on her fantastic achievement at YOG.”
A total 64 athletes from 42 nations competed in triathlon at the first Youth Games. In addition to the individual men and women’s races, an inspirational new format of Team Triathlon-a 4x mixed, super-sprint relay-made its historic debut in a major multi-sport games.
Sato is one of Japan’s most promising athletes, having competed in five rounds of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series this year. She took up triathlon at nine years old with her mother’s encouragement.
Established in 1993, the Olympic Museum is the most popular museum in Switzerland and has welcomed more than 3.3 million visitors in the past 17 years. Earlier this month, the IOC Executive Board agreed on a major renovation project to modernize the museum.