World Triathlon celebrates 35th anniversary. WORLD TRIATHLON

Exactly 35 years ago, on 1 April 1989, when the city of Avignon, France, played a pivotal role in the history of triathlon by hosting a congress where the International Triathlon Union (ITU), now World Triathlon, was founded. 

Over the past three and a half decades, World Triathlon has overseen a remarkable expansion and development of triathlon, with its inclusion in the Olympic and Paralympic programmes. Triathlon's debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games marked a historic moment for the sport. 

Founded with a vision to promote triathlon as a premier sport, the organisation has evolved under the leadership of two remarkable individuals, its first President, Canada's Les McDonald, who laid the foundation for its success. Now, World Triathlon is guided by President Marisol Casado of Spain, whose dedication and passion have taken the organisation to new heights of excellence. 

"Today we gather to celebrate the milestone in our organisational journey, the 35th anniversary of the founding of World Triathlon. On 1 April 1989, in the historic city of Avignon, France, the headquarters of our federation was established, setting the stage for an incredible journey that is still unfolding," she said. 

"From Les McDonald, the first President of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), now World Triathlon, to the present day, our vision, passion and dedication have helped to shape the world of triathlon into the global force it is today. It has been an honour to serve as your President and to be part of this extraordinary legacy," continued the Spaniard.

"Over the years, World Triathlon has become an organisation that is deeply rooted in the Olympic ecosystem. We have seen our sport included in both the Olympic and Paralympic programmes, a testament to the tireless efforts of our community to put triathlon on the map," stressed Casado. 

"Central to our achievements has been our unwavering commitment to sustainability and gender balance. These principles have guided every decision we have made to ensure that World Triathlon has a positive impact on our society. Together we have built a diverse and inclusive community, where everyone has the opportunity to excel, regardless of gender or background," she added. 

"None of this would have been possible without the dedication of our incredible team and the support of our National Federations. Their passion and hard work has been the driving force behind the growth of our sport, reaching new markets and inspiring countless people to pursue their triathlon dreams," pointed out Marisol Casado. 

"Let us not only look back with appreciation, but also look forward with renewed determination. The road ahead is full of challenges, but I have no doubt that together we will continue to take World Triathlon to greater heights. Thank you all for your unwavering support. And from now until the next 35 years of excellence," concluded the World Triathlon President since 2008.