Boom boom — Boom boom
Triathletes around the world know the low, heartbeat pound of the drums marks the beginning of a race for the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
“The most exciting part of the race for me is the drumbeat,” said Simon Whifield, two-time Olympic triathlon medallist. “When you hear that sound you know it’s real and it’s happening.”
Each year, the ITU hosts eight events worldwide bringing together triathletes of all age groups at various levels of achievement, from children to seniors and amateurs to pros.
In 2014, ITU races hosted in Auckland, Cape Town, Yokohama, London, Chicago, Hamburg and Stockholm will culminate at the TransCanada World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton from August 26 to September 1. Here, triathletes from around the world will compete to determine which elite champions will move on to the Olympic level.
“This will be a spectacular event at a magnitude that’s never been seen before in the city and province,” said Don Lowry, board chairman of the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Championships, at the February 28 news conference announcing funding from three levels of government and unveiling TransCanada as the event’s title sponsor.
“We didn’t take the decision of who to approach for title sponsor lightly — it was about leadership and it was about commitment,” said Lowry. “We found that with a bang in our title sponsor, TransCanada, and are proud that an Alberta-based company has committed finances, time, energy and resources to support the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.”
TransCanada has supported sport, culture and economic growth across Alberta for more than 60 years. Sponsoring this event will help showcase Edmonton and Alberta to the world. The TransCanada World Triathlon Grand Final is expected to attract more than 4,000 athletes, 6,000 accompanying visitors and a worldwide television audience of approximately 45 million in 160 countries.
“We’re proud to showcase this commitment as title sponsor for the World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, which will bring international attention to this dynamic and diverse city,”
— Alex Pourbaix, President of Development, TransCanada
“Sponsoring this event also gives us an opportunity to engage our long-time community partners Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton and the Africa Centre,” said Pourbaix. “Leading up to the event, TransCanada will work with these partners to help introduce youth to competitive athletics and foster their passion for sports and healthy lifestyle choices.”
In addition to TransCanada’s funding of $315,000, the City of Edmonton is contributing $2 million to the event, the Government of Alberta is contributing $1 million through Alberta Culture, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and Alberta Sport Connection, and the Government of Canada is contributing $1.5 million through Sport Canada’s Hosting Program.
“I started in the Kids of Steel program when I was 11 years old,” explained Whitfield. “I was wearing Mickey Mouse ears and boxers with cows on them. That’s exactly the spirit of triathlon. It’s very grassroots and it’s an amazing community.”
Beginning on August 26, this community will gather in Edmonton as spectators and triathletes of all ages join together to hear the heartbeat of the drum, feel the energy and become a part of this legacy event for Alberta.