Paratriathlon Military Engagement Program Wins U.S. Olympic Committee’s Diversity & Inclusion Choice Award

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 18, 2018, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States Olympic Committee today announced USA Triathlon’s Paratriathlon Military Engagement Program as the recipient of its annual Diversity & Inclusion Choice Award. 

Now in its fifth year, the D&I Choice Award recognizes an NGB or High Performance Management Organization (HPMO) for the creation of a single diversity and inclusion best practice or a series of diversity and inclusion best practices. After an internal USOC selection committee narrows down the submissions, finalists are put to a vote of representatives from NGBs and HPMOs across the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. 

USA Triathlon’s program received the highest number of votes, and the organization will be honored at a celebratory dinner on Friday, Sept. 21, as part of the 2018 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  

USA Triathlon’s Paratriathlon Military Engagement Program aims to introduce injured veterans to the sport of paratriathlon as an avenue for a healthy and active lifestyle. The program’s goal is to provide appropriate opportunities for all participants, from those simply learning the skills to swim, bike and run safely for recreation to those who wish to represent the U.S. in elite paratriathlon competition.

As part of the program, USA Triathlon created a series of training camps designed to develop paratriathlon engagement among military veterans. Each of the three training camps held in 2018 was free for participants and provided the opportunity to live and train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Thanks to the Paratriathlon Military Program, 45 military veterans worked with world-class coaches to build their paratriathlon skills and engage in a potentially life-changing experience. 

“The Paratriathlon Military Engagement Program is a leading example of USA Triathlon’s mission in action — to grow, inspire and support the multisport community,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Our military programming introduces injured veterans to the sport of triathlon while, at the same, time welcoming these heroic individuals into a supportive, nationwide community of coaches and fellow athletes. I would like to credit the USA Triathlon high performance staff for their ingenuity in creating an impactful and sustainable program for those who have served our country.”

“USA Triathlon is proud to receive the D&I Choice Award, particularly because it helps amplify a platform to share best practices with other organizations in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager at USA Triathlon. “The three military camps we held in 2018 were incredibly successful for opening new doors to sport for injured veterans and identifying future talent for our elite pipeline. We look forward to continuing the program and reaching more aspiring paratriathletes next season.” 

For more information about the Paratriathlon Military Engagement Program, visit usatriathlon.org

This is the second consecutive year that USA Triathlon has been honored by the USOC for its diversity and inclusion efforts. USA Triathlon was the recipient of the 2017 Advancing D&I Award, which recognizes the NGB or HPMO with the highest annual growth percentage of underrepresented individuals based on diversity data for women and ethnic and racial minorities. 

The Friday awards dinner is the final event of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly, which begins Thursday, Sept. 20 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. The dinner will feature Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the keynote speaker and U.S. Olympic ice dance medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani as hosts. U.S. amateur triathlete Dr. Patricia DeLaMora will also be honored Friday as the recipient of the Jack Kelly Fair Play Award.

For more information about the Assembly, an annual meeting of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, visit teamusa.org/assembly.

About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).