Olympic Triathlons

by Ashley Reback

A triathlon is an endurance race that consists of a swim, bike, and a run.  There are many different distances. The shortest is called a sprint triathlon and the longest is an Ironman. Between each portion of the race there is a transition area where the time is also included.

A few of the rules include buckling your helmet before leaving the transition area and not mounting your bike until you are out of the transition area.  Drafting while on the bike is only allowed in professional races. Breaking any of these rules usually results in a time penalty.

Triathlon in the Olympics

Triathlons first became a part of the Olympics at the 2000 Sydney games. Paratriathlon will be added to the 2016 Paralympics. An Olympics distance triathlon consists of a 1,500 meter swim, a 40 kilometer bike, and 10 kilometer run.

Olympic Triathletes

Laura Bennett     

Laura Bennett was born on April 25th, 1975 in West Palm Beach, Florida. She currently lives in Queensland, Australia for half of the year and Boulder, Colorado for the other half.  She attended Cardinal Newman High School, where she ran cross country and track. She was the track  state champion in both the mile and two mile during her sophomore and junior years of high school. During her senior year, Laura decided to join the swim team and the following year she attended Southern Methodist University on a swimming scholarship. In 1997 her 400 medley relay team won the NCAA championship.

Laura became a professional triathlete in 1998 after finishing in the World Championship Triathlon as the second place U.S. female. In 2003, she earned a silver medal at the World Triathlon Championship  and she earned bronze medals in 2004, 2005, and 2007. She also won the USAT Elite Championship in 2003 and in 2010.

She qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after finishing 3rd overall at the qualifying race. She finished 4th place overall during the Olympics.  She also competed at the 2012 London Olympics and placed 17th.

Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett was born on January 2nd, 1972 in Sydney, Australia. He started doing triathlons when he was 15 years old.  He was won 6 ITU World Cup titles and was the number one triathlete in the world in both 2002 and 2003. He competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics and placed 4th. He recently became a U.S. citizen in 2012 and wanted to race in the London Olympics on the U.S. team, but since he hadn't competed in enough ITU races as an American, he wasn't eligible to. In 2012 he completed his first Ironman triathlon in Melbourne, Australia.

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