September 12, 2005 – Following a bid presentation to the International Triathlon Union (ITU), Vancouver has been awarded the 2008 ITU Triathlon World Championships, with a summer date to be confirmed.
Tourism Vancouver’s Manager of Sport Tourism, Matthew Coyne, Bid Chair Tom Keogh, Senator Grant Mitchell, Canada Place President Mike Shardlow, and representatives from Triathlon Canada and Triathlon BC focused on Vancouver’s reputation of hosting international events, outstanding infrastructure, lifestyle, strong corporate support, a thriving sports community, and a first-rate, technically challenging and safe course to convince ITU executive that the city was the right choice over Mazatlan, Mexico.
Some 3,000 athletes representing all age groups, elite, junior and disabled will compete in the event, with Coal Harbour as the venue for the 1500m swim, downtown as the primary area for the 40km bike portion, while Gastown will be one of the feature areas for the 10km run.
Bid Chairman Tom Keogh noted the social and cultural events surrounding the championships and the legacy plan was instrumental in the successful bid.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to showcase Canada, BC and Vancouver’s rich culture and diversity, not to mention the city’s ability to support major sporting events. Vancouver just happens to be the home of international headquarters of ITU which means an even closer relationship and benefit to Vancouver. Furthermore, we intend to host a warm-up event leading up to the Championships and Vancouver will become a regular stop on ITU’s Triathlon World Cup calendar post 2008. This is especially important in the lead-up to the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games,” said Keogh.
Tourism Vancouver Chair Stuart McLaughlin estimates the event will generate upwards of $5 million for the local economy.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of being an Olympic host city. More and more sporting organizations are recognizing the attributes that Vancouver offers for virtually any type of event, and that’s paying off in terms of new business and economic benefit,” said Stuart.
Tourism Vancouver’s focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. The organization’s brand essence is about ‘exceeding expectations’.