2008: An Olympic Year

In 1985 the first National Board of Governors was assembled with very clear objectives:

  • Create a uniform set of competitive rules
  • Enforce those rules
  • Continue to increase the number of sanctioned events
  • Improve the federation's credibility as a voice for the sport
  • Provide a clearinghouse for members' questions on training and technical information
  • Promote event safety and sponsor event championships


With eyes on getting the sport accepted as an Olympic sport, Tri-Fed officials met with members of the USOC in 1986. With a few minor changes to the bylaws, triathlon could become a member of the USOC.

The early Tri-Fed years of 1986 to 1988 were known as the Verne H. Scott years. Scott was the first executive director of Tri-Fed. Although a Ph. D. civil engineer, he was very interested in sport management. He is also father of Ironman legend Dave Scott.

To become more aligned with the other sports within the Olympic family, such as USA Swimming, USA Skiing and others, Triathlon Federation had another name change to USA Triathlon in 1996.

More details on the history of USA Triathlon can be found here.

Looking Ahead

Already, Laura Bennett and Jarrod Shoemaker have claimed spots on the U.S. Olympic triathlon team. There are two remaining qualifying races—Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 19 and the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, Iowa on June 22—for the final two male and two female spots. As we travel through 2008, stay with me as I reveal more about the athletes heading to the games, how triathletes qualify for a spot on the start line and training tips to help you on your Olympic-distance triathlon journey.

Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic coach for both the men's and women's teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's pre-built, easy-to-follow training plans. For more information, click here. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.


  1. "American Institute of Hydrology, the Society for Registered/Certified Hydrologists and Hydrogeologists", 2001 Founders Award, Volume 19, Issue 3, Fall 2001.
  2. History from Slowtwitch
  3. International Olympic Committee
  4. The Olympic Century, "The Ancient Olympiads & Bridges to the Modern Era", Volume 1, World Sport Research & Publications, 2000.
  5. USA Triathlon History


Related Articles:

What is Your Triathlon History?

Space at the Olympics is Limited

Getting a Spot on the Olympic Start Line

Designing the Olympic Selection Process

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