What is Team USA?

Team USA was created by USA Triathlon to be a team of age group/amateurs who will best represent the United States and compete in the International Triathlon Union's (ITU) World Championships, which attracts the best athletes representing over 50 countries each year. Team USA World Championship teams are fielded for:

  • Short Course (Olympic) triathlon *(1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run)
  • Long Course Triathlon *(4k swim, 112k bike, 30k run)
  • Sprint Triathlon *(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
  • Standard Duathlon *(10K run, 40K bike, 5K run)
  • Sprint Duathlon *(5K run, 20K bike, 2.5K run)
  • Long Course Duathlon *(10k run, 150k bike, 30k run)
  • Aquathlon *(1000m swim, and 5K run)
  • Cross (Off-Road) Triathlon (distances based on the location- disciplines: swim, mountain bike, trail run)
  • Winter triathlon (distances based on the location - disciplines: trail run, mountain bike, cross country ski)

Qualifiers exist for all World Championship teams. Visit each event link for qualification standards. 
*Distances are subject to change depending on location and course availability.

Who can qualify?

All athletes eligible to represent the United States must be at least 16 years old (sprint distance) or 18 years old (Olympic distance or longer) as of December 31st of the year of the World Championship AND 
  • Be a U.S. citizen


  • Be a U.S. national – someone who has resided in the US for three consecutive years and has not competed for their country of citizenship in the prior year.

*Athletes who choose to be recognized as nationals who have competed for their country of citizenship in the last year may get dispensation by obtaining a letter from the NGB of their home country allowing competition as a U.S. athlete.

All members of Team USA must be current USAT annual members on the day they plan to qualify.

How does an individual qualify?

For a list of qualifying races visit the National Championships schedule.

If I qualified for Team USA this year, do I automatically have a slot on Team USA next year?

No, you do not automatically qualify for Team USA next year. However, if you were on Team USA this year, you do automatically qualify for nationals in the next year.

On the other hand, if you podium in your age group at a World Championship race, you automatically qualify for that same race the following year. For example, if you win your age group at 2019 Long Course Triathlon World Championships, you automatically qualify for 2020 Long Course Triathlon World Championships. 

How many athletes are on Team USA?

Between 18 and 20 athletes per age group per gender, depending on the event. Age groups are fielded in five-year increments from 18-19, 20-24,etc up to 90+ years of age. 

How long is an athlete eligible for Team USA once they are on the team?

Athletes are current Team USA members up through the completion of the world championship event at which they qualified for and in which they competed.

Are athletes required to be members of USAT if they are part of Team USA?

Yes. All athletes are required to be annual members of USA Triathlon before qualifying for Team USA. To register or renew, click here.

What benefits does an athlete receive if he/she is a member of Team USA?

  • Travel: For most events, USAT provides travel packages specifically for world championships, which usually include: airport/hotel transfers, bicycle transportation at destination, lodging and other benefits. Most U.S. athletes travel as part of the prepared package and with other U.S. athletes.  All costs are borne by the athlete. Land package costs usually run between $150-$250 per person per day (foreign hotels can be very expensive). Athletes are free to book housing separate from the package but do so at the expense of lost team camaraderie.
  • Insurance: The USOC provides coverage under the foreign assistance program. Medex is an insurance plan designed for short-term travel and can be utilized by either U.S. athletes traveling outside the country or incoming foreign athletes or teams. The cost of this benefit under the USOC's blanket program is $3.25 per person per day. This program includes a $100,000 expense benefit. This may be important for travelers whose personal medical coverage is restricted to the U.S. and its territories. The maximum duration for travel under this program option is 70 days. Medex has waived, for the Olympic family, the exclusions related to sports participation. This insurance is extended to athletes for select world events
  • Support Team: For most events, USAT has assigned a user fee to every athlete who qualifies for the U.S. team. The purpose of this fee is to cover the base cost for the entire support team to be in attendance at the event and offer special services to team members. The costs are modest compared to the services provided by the hard-working staff. This fee is subject to be changed each season based on the event's location.
  • Communication: Athletes on each of the world teams receive periodic e-mails from the national office with updates on the various race related activities. There is also a monthly newsletter that is sent out to current team members.
  • Networking: The most exciting part of being on Team USA is the friends that you make. Many athletes make it a priority to get to know others by eating meals, riding, swimming and running together and just hanging out in the host hotel lobby. You also get to meet athletes from all across the world.
  • Nationals Qualification: If you are a current member of Team USA, you automatically qualify for the Nationals next year.

Do members of Team USA wear the same uniforms?

Yes they do. USAT provides a Team USA clothing package for all ITU World Championship teams.

Further information will be sent to those confirmed on the team in the periodic updates. The approximate cost of the mandatory package is $185-230. The approximate cost of the team uniform is between $200-300. Uniform rules and prices are subject to yearly changes. Athletes pay additional shipping and handling costs for having the clothing shipped.

How much does it cost to be a member of Team USA?

All athletes registering for a world championship are required to pay a $75 non-refundable deposit per event. This $75 deposit is the user fee that will help fund the USAT Support Staff traveling to the World Championship such as a Team USA Manager, a Team USA Doctor, a Team USA Chiropractor, and a Team USA Mechanic (the support staff is not present for every event).  Once the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announces the entry fee each athlete who paid their deposit must then pay the entry fee to USA Triathlon. This cost can vary between $160-400 depending on the race.

Traveling to the World Championship event is at the expense of the individual (flight, hotel, food, bike transport, etc).

  • This can be done through the USAT travel partner, Christopherson Business Travel. Visit the specific events travel link for contact information. 

Uniforms must be compliant with the ITU uniform rules and be the currently approved Team USA uniform. This cost is expensed by the athlete. Uniforms will be purchased from the Team USA store and available each spring.

How is Team USA funded?

Team USA is funded through the remaining registration funds and national sponsors.

What if I want to cancel my Team USA registration?

All cancellations must be received in writing to teamusa@usatriathlon.org.  The $75 deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel between two and four months prior to your respective race, you will be granted a refund of the ITU entry fee minus a $25 administrative fee via a check from USA Triathlon.