The first recorded triathlon took place in San Diego, California on September 24, 1974. It was organised by the San Diego Track & Field Club as an alternative to the rigors of training on the track. The race, which took place in San Diego’s Mission Bay, consisted of a 5.3-mile run, followed by a 5-mile bike and a 600-yard swim in the bay.
A total of 46 athletes finished the race. The International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded in 1989 as the world governing body for triathlon and has been headquartered in Vancouver, Canada ever since. A total of 30 National Federations attended the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France in 1989. Today there are over 120 National Federations.
The ITU Triathlon World Cup Series began in 1991, staging 11 races in eight countries. The ITU World Triathlon Series was created as ITU’s top tier race series in 2009, staging multiple rounds in iconic cities across the globe. Triathlon was awarded full Olympic Games medal status by the IOC at its Congress in Paris in 1994. Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games. Switzerland’s Brigitte McMahon and Canada’s Simon Whitfield won the sport’s first gold medals