Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From Kona, HI, The Ironman World Championship

Well in spite of the fact that USA Triathlon had no presence at the 27th edition of the Ironman "World Championship" in Kona, HI, the race went off in spectacular and well organized fashion. It is so sad that the National Governing Body of the sport of triathlon just doesn't get the aura and dynamics of this historical and influential race. With 51 countries represented it is truly a world championship and a grand display of the most fit athletes from any sport in the world. With USAT turning their backs on the 20,000(at least 70% being annual members) USA athletes that engage in the Ironman dream each year, it is amazing to me that some one of authority, i.e. the new executive director or the president of the board would not have some form of presence at the event. Even if they just been here and observed, possibly taking away with them a renewed desire to get the two organizations back together. Funny thing is, WTC proved that a race of this magnitude could be conducted without the high and mighty attitude of USAT.

My appeal to the new executive director, Skip Gilbert, is that he get his priorities in order as the chief executive of USAT and represent the complete sport of triathlon. It is about swim, bike and run, not ITU, not the largest races in America, not the USOC, not the Ironman, but simply, swim, bike and run. He has to represent the complete sport, not isolate himself to one faction. Since Skip came to the sport with no triathlon experience it is most important that he educate himself by attending all of the events that represent the sport. Now that the sun has set on the 2005 HI Ironman he has lost his chance for an important education in the sport. I cannot imagine what was so important, unless it was a family emergency, that would keep him from this event. In the same token the board president, Brad Davison, should have insisted that he be present. If they think the importance of impressing Mr. Les MacDonald, ITU President, is more important then they are dreaming through their teeth, since a long standing, fruitful relationship with him is like being married to Elizabeth Taylor, possibly exciting in the beginning but SHORT AND DEPRESSING in the end.

Many will say, well Greer, "you are biased on this since you are part of the Ironman family." While it is true I am a member of this sports family,but the real proof is in the pudding. The Ironman still has tremendous aura to it, it does change lives, it is a thrill to watch all of the athletes, no matter their skill, go through the finish chute on Alii Dr. Fact is, there is no finish like it in the sport. So, USAT get over your self, get back to representing the entire swim, bike and run sport and do the job you were created to do.

Back to Texas,

Mike Greer


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