USA Triathlon to Fund First Paratriathlon Prize Purse in ITU History
USA Triathlon, with the support of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, announced a professional prize purse for podium finishers at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, set for March 22 in Florida. Made possible by USA Triathlon sponsors and private donors, the prize purse is the first for an elite paratriathlon race in ITU history. The total of $60,000 is equal to that of the elite ITU Triathlon World Cup taking place on the same day.
USA Triathlon has played a leading role in professionalizing the sport of paratriathlon in recent years. The National Governing Body, along with Toyota and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, combined to offer a historic prize purse of $36,750 at the 2019 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Long Beach, California.
“Many elite paratriathletes, both in the U.S. and internationally, sacrifice financial stability to chase world class performances and compete around the globe as professionals,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Triathlon, with the support of the ITU and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, is committed to recognizing their achievements and we are thrilled to take this important step to continue to advance paratriathlon in the United States and around the world.”
“I am delighted to learn that USA Triathlon has managed to make the prize money for paratriathletes a reality at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup as something exceptional,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President and International Olympic Committee member. “It is a great achievement by USA Triathlon. As everyone is aware, paratriathletes are raising the bar every day and it is very special that at this event, they will have a prize money equal to the non-para categories.”
The Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon and ITU Paratriathlon World Cups will take place at Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park on Sunday, March 22. The races will feature competitive international fields, as athletes from the U.S. and around the world will be on the hunt to improve their Olympic and Paralympic qualification rankings ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“The Olympic and Paralympic year represents a unique opportunity to showcase the world’s best Paralympic athletes on the world stage, before a mainstream audience,” said Rick Adams, Chief of Sport Performance and NGB Services at the USOPC. “However, elite Paralympic hopefuls train year-over-year, day in and day out for the opportunity to represent their countries in international competition. The USOPC is proud to support USA Triathlon in its efforts to professionalize paratriathlon while paving the way for the long-term success of the sport and its athletes.”
In Sarasota, the winner in each of six paratriathlon sport categories will receive $2,143 each. Runners-up will receive $1,286, and third-place finishers will receive $857. Men and women will receive equal prize money, and sighted guides competing alongside athletes with visual impairments will also receive equivalent winnings.