By Peter Holmes on 02/10/09 at 5:16 pm
With the International Olympic Committee announcement that Rio de Janeiro in Brazil will be the host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, triathlon can look forward to returning a city and country which is steeped in multisport history.
IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement at the close of the first day of meetings of the IOCâ€™s 121st Session in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following the election, Rogge said, â€œI would like to congratulate the city of Rio de Janeiro on its election as the host of the 2016 Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro presented the IOC with a very strong technical bid, built upon a vision of the Games being a celebration of the athletes and sport, as well as providing the opportunity for the city, region and country to deliver their broader long-term aspirations for the future. This call to â€œlive your passionâ€ clearly struck a chord with my fellow members, and we now look forward to seeing Rio de Janeiro staging the first Olympic Games on the continent of South America. Well done, Rio!â€
Having first joined the ITU Triathlon World Cup calendar in 1996, Rio de Janeiro established a significant multisport presence from the turn of the century with World Cup races in 2000, 2003 and 2004, a South American Games in 2002 and PATCO Pan American Championships in 2007. France’s Philippe Fattori (now French National Coach) and Canada’s Carol Montgomery were the 1996 victors with Andy Potts and Julie Ertel from the USA the Pan American champions from 2007. In 2004 Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes won the last ITU Triathlon World Cup to be held in the city with France’s Cedric Deanaz the men’s race.
“Following the great sucess of the Pan American Games Triathlon on Copocabana Beach in 2007, we anticipate seven wonderful years of world class sport on the Olympic venue,” said Loreen Barnett, ITU Secretary General from IOC Congress in Copenhagen.