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2017 ITU World Triathlon Championships, Rotterdam – 15th September 2017
The Patron of Triathlon Australia
Mr Phil Coles
As Patron of Triathlon Australia I am thrilled to have witnessed the outstanding development of the sport since its first Olympic recognition at the Sydney 2000 Games.
It was at a meeting with President Juan Antonio Samaranch in Paris during the 1994 IOC Congress that he first expressed his wish to add two new sports to the Sydney Games programme. He asked for my thoughts on the matter and I immediately suggested Triathlon and Taekwondo. I considered Taekwondo worthy of inclusion because of its long history and large participation base. On the other hand I believed Triathlon to be a wonderful candidate as a new sport which offered an excellent concept for exciting television coverage, with appeal to all age groups. Happily President Samaranch agreed that these two sports would be the perfect additions for Sydney 2000.
As my interest in triathlon grew I became more involved in promoting the sport, serving for a number of years as Secretary General of the ITU.
In 2000 the Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee scheduled Triathlon as the first event on the programme. As a result the world was able to thrill to the spectacle of great athletes competing in an exciting new event with the beautiful backdrop of Sydney Harbor and the Opera House. What a wonderful showcase for Triathlon’s Olympic debut.
Since that time world Triathlon has gone from strength to strength and Triathlon Australia has produced a steady stream of outstanding and competitive triathletes. Triathlon Australia is to be congratulated for its outstanding achievements.
I am very proud to have played a part in Triathlon’s developmental journey and am extremely honoured to be recognized as the Patron of Triathlon Australia.