Press Release: USAT to Induct Inaugural Hall of Fame Class in Colorado Springs in January
Posted Dec 20 2008 5:40pm
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (Dec. 15th) USA Triathlon is pleased to announce that it will induct its
Inaugural Hall of Fame Class at a banquet on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 in
Colorado Springs, Colo.
The ceremony - scheduled from 5:30 to
8:30 p.m. - will be part of the annual USAT Race Director' s Symposium
at the Broadmoor Resort.
The Hall of Fame class includes five
individuals - recognized in four categories - who were instrumental in
bringing the sport of triathlon to national prominence over the past 26
years: Verne Scott (contributor), Jon Gray Noll (contributor), Judy
Flannery (age group athlete), Karen Smyers (pre-2000 elite athletes),
and Sheila Taormina (post-1999 elite athlete).
lifestyle has experienced significant growth across all disciplines
over the past few years. While it would be easy to focus on just the
present with an eye to the future, it would be a huge mistake for USAT
not to look back and at the very least recognize those outstanding
individuals that led us to where we are today," said USAT CEO Skip
Gilbert. "We are all thankful to this group for having the vision, the
dedication and the passion for multisport and their contributions in
making our sport and this organization what it is today."
class was officially announced last fall following a long process that
included nominations by the USAT membership and a thorough screening
process of the nominees.
Attendance for the banquet is being capped at 150.
Judy Flannery, Age Group Athlete One
of the sport' s early age group stars, Judy won seven national triathlon
titles, two duathlon national titles, four triathlon world gold medals,
and five duathlon world gold medals. She was instrumental in
establishing the USAT Women' s Committee and annual women' s breakfasts
at major national and international races. She persuaded the Danskin
Series to become USAT-sanctioned and inspired thousands of women to
become involved in the sport. She was tragically killed while biking in
Verne Scott, Contributor Based out of
his bedroom office and on a shoestring budget, Verne Scott worked
tirelessly to put everything, big and small, in place for the
establishment of the Triathlon Federation (USA Triathlon) in the 1980s.
Rules, event production standards, sanctioning process, championships,
meetings, membership, magazine, without Verne nothing would have been
completed. Although his son, Dave, may be the most famous athlete in
the family, Verne had his share of age group wins. After retiring as
Executive Director of Tri-Fed in 1987, Verne returned to his full time
responsibility as a professor at University of California-Davis until
his retirement in 1989 at age 65. He continues to swim and work out
three to four times per week, coaches swimming classes for beginning
adults, plays golf, and serves as a volunteer for community service
Sheila Taormina, Post-1999 Elite Athlete Sheila
is considered by many to be one of the greatest athletes in history and
is one of only a handful to have ever risen to the top in three
separate sports. After a successful swimming career, which included a
gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Sheila made the move to
triathlon. She won silver at the 2003 Pan American Games, gold at the
2004 ITU World Championship, and earned podium finishes at 10 ITU World
Cups - including three wins. She is the only U.S. woman to make two
Olympic teams, finishing 6th in 2000 and 23rd in 2004. Not content to
walk away from sports, Sheila sought a new challenge in 2005 and
quickly began to excel in the sport of modern pentathlon. After three
world cup podiums, Sheila made history by making her fourth Olympic
Games - in three sports. She finished 19th at the Beijing Olympics.
Karen Smyers, Pre-2000 Elite Athlete Karen
Smyers is one of the most versatile women in the history of triathlon.
Over her professional career, she accumulated seven national triathlon
titles (including six in a row), one national duathlon title, two world
triathlon medals, and one victory at Ironman Kona. Her 1995 double of
winning at Kona and returning two weeks later to capture the ITU
triathlon world title is perhaps the single most remarkable achievement
in the sport to date. Karen was also a Pan American Games gold medalist
and a three-time USOC Triathlete of the Year. She continues to serve as
an inspiration through her coaching, writing, speaking, and sharing her
story of surviving cancer.
Jon Gray Noll, Contributor President
of Tri-Fed from 1984 to 1989, Jon Gray Noll teamed with Verne Scott to
establish the foundation of the National Governing Body. His
accomplishments include the establishment of the first set of
competitive rules and the first true set of event production standards,
while putting the organization' s business plan in place. He also helped
rebuild the organization' s structure and bylaws to conform to the Ted
Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. He was instrumental in creating
the NGB' s first magazine (Transition Times) and securing its national
distribution, and he also created the Tri-Fed National Championship as
a separate race. His final act in office involved appointing the
delegation that helped create the International Triathlon Union and the
ITU World Triathlon Championship.