Why is Triathlon powerfully different than other sports?

  • How many other sports promote such a positive lifestyle?
  • How many sports give the opportunity for professional/elite athletes and amateurs/ beginners to compete in the same venue?
  • How many other sports inspire spectators to take up the sport?
  • How many other sports are accessible to all ages and abilities by virtue of the unique nature of the sport?

Triathlon is the spectacular combination of the traditional disciplines of endurance sports: swimming, cycling, and running. Still a sport for specific individualists in the 80’s, it has long outgrown its niche-market roots. At the Olympics in 2000, the sport was inducted for the first time into the Olympic Programme, with the then-called “short distance” or “Olympic distance” of 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run. Through this, as well as the so-called “sprint distance“ (0.5 km swim – 22 km bike – 5 km run), the triathlon gradually received the aura of a healthy form of sports for all generations.  

Triathlons have witnessed rapid growth over the last decade. It is seen as the fastest growing sport in the world today. Triathlon joined the Olympics at the Sydney 2000 Games in Australia with a single event for men and another for women further raising the interest and attention of the sport. The recent Olympics saw the triathlon watched on the streets of London by over 200,000 fans. Triathlon became a global household name. 


Did you know?

  • modern, exciting, inclusive Olympic sport
  • one of world's fastest growing sports, quickly becoming mainstream
  • triathletes are people of all ages, gender and ability, healthy and lifestyle conscious
  • median age 35-40, triathletes are active, educated, motivated, influential
  • largest participant age group is 30-35 years
  • 60:40 male to female participation ratio
  • 90% of Triathlon first timers who believe they might finish
  • 1% of Triathlon first timers who believe they might not finish
  • a logical next step for athletes from other sports
  • cross training in the three disciplines (swim, bike, run) promotes lifetime fitness

As a multi-sport event, Triathlon has seen its growth come from various sources. One major contributing factor came from the medical fraternity, those runners or cyclists who for years pounded the roads later in life were restricted by injury, doctors began advising athletes from various sports to consider swimming as a good form of recovery, health, and fitness without similar strains on the body. Runners were also asked to try cycling and cyclists to swim. A growing number of talented athletes began training multiple disciplines, but also finding a new sport enabling them to compete in. The newer generation of triathletes coming through have been training in all three disciplines from a young age, raising the standards of professionalism.


More children getting involved and excited about triathlon. Companies are beginning to understand the marketing power of the endurance and multisport demographic.


There is a reason that triathlon gains in popularity - it's a real challenge, but also great fun!