Founded in 1989, The International Triathlon Union is the recognized international governing body of the sport of triathlon around the world. The official distance for triathlon was set at a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer draft-legal bike and a 10-kilometer run.
This standard distance is used for the ITU World Triathlon Series and is featured at the Olympic Games.
For more information about the ITU, go to triathlon.org
The ITU sanctions many races around the world, including the World Triathlon Series, World Cups and Continental Cups.
ITU Rankings can be found at triathlon.org/rankings
Key International Events
Many athletes grew up dreaming of representing their country at the Olympic Games and standing atop the medals podium. For triathletes, that gold medal dream became more of a reality in 2000 when the sport was added to the Olympic program at the Sydney Games. Four years later, the U.S. received its first medal when Susan Williams finished third in Athens, Greece. The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games triathlon events will take place on Aug. 18 (men) and Aug. 20 (women).
Pan American Games
The Pan American Games occur every four years and always the year before the Olympic Games. This competition is reserved for members of Pan American countries which include North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Toronto, Ontario, hosted the 2015 Pan American Games. Lima, Peru will host the Pan American Games in 2019.
ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS)
The ITU World Triathlon Series showcases the world's fastest triathletes as they travel to iconic cities and compete head-to-head on standard (Olympic-distance) and sprint courses for a chance to be crowned world champion. In 2017 the series features nine stops culminating in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, Netherlands from Sept. 14-17.
2017 ITU World Triathlon Series Schedule
ITU World Cups
With the advent of the World Championship Series, the World Cup events have become slightly less competitive than in previous Olympic quads. The World Cup races provide the perfect stepping stone to the top-level WTS and provides an opportunity to gain valuable ITU, WTS and Olympic points, albeit at a lower level than the WTS events.
ITU Continental Cups
The International Triathlon Union holds a series of elite races on each continent that are more developmental in nature and offer smaller prize purses and international points. These races are ideal for the younger or less experienced athletes to learn to compete and become successful in elite triathlon before graduating to World Cup and WTS events.