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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

4 Posts tagged with the olympic_games tag

San Diego, the birthplace for the sport of triathlon, will host an ITU World Triathlon race. This event is the final qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Team, so the home-soil athletes will be doing the race of a lifetime. International athletes will be racing for valuable Olympic qualifying points and, depending on the specific country’s Olympic qualifying system, this race may make the difference between a ticket to London in August – or staying at home.


It is guaranteed you can easily be within arm’s length, or less, of the pros that will be racing at the Olympic Games. Additionally, the venue will have age group racing as well.


With the fastest triathletes in the world racing this close to home – there’s no better time, or place, to travel for an event. Find information on the event website.

658 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: san_diego, olympic_games, itu_world_triathlon

ITU to host Elite Sprint and Team World Championship in Lausanne


(Vancouver, Canada - 2 March, 2010) - The International Triathlon Union is pleased to announce the addition of the inaugural ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship to its 2010 race calendar, to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on August 21. Additionally, Lausanne will host the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship on August 22. These two events will replace the Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup event, previously scheduled for the same weekend.  There will be $100,000 in prize money on offer over the weekend's racing.  The weekend festival of racing will also contain an age-group competition that is expected to attract a large number of competitors.
"We are very excited to host the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship and the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship in Lausanne, a city with a history of great sporting events," said ITU President Marisol Casado. "The distances are short, exciting and we think the spectators and viewers will enjoy watching our athletes race at such a high intensity. The shorter-distances present a great opportunity for our younger athletes to compete in the sport in a sustainable way."
Competitors in the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship will complete a 750-meter swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run. Each of the four athletes in the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship will complete a 275-meter swim; 6 km bike and 1.5-km run.Each team will be comprised of two men and two women, racing in the order of female-male-female-male. After each athlete finishes his or her swim-bike-run segment he or she will tag the next athlete in the relay for the exchange. 
The 2009 ITU Team Triathlon World Championship was hosted by Hy-Vee in Des Moines, Iowa, alongside the prestigious Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup, with the Swiss Team taking home top honours, topping Australia by only eight seconds. Team Canada rounded out the podium.
A sprint-distance triathlon and a 4 x mixed relay triathlon will be on the programme for the first-ever Youth Olympic Games, set for Singapore on August 14-26, 2010. For more information on the Youth Olympic Games visit


Side Note:  As with the Cross World Championships, holding a sprint world championship event is one of the steps on the checklist for inclusion into the Olympic Games.

805 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: world_championships, olympic_games, cross_triathlon, mountain_bike_triathlon

Sheila is a fierce competitor; there is no doubt about it. When she sets a goal, she goes after it with dogged determination. How determined? More determined than anyone, as no other woman in history has gone to the Olympic Games in three different sports.


I'm told one male has gone to the Games in three sports, but I need to verify this. I'll do some research and get back to you.


Sheila's Olympic travels began when she won a gold medal in the 1996 Games in swimming. In these Atlanta Games she swam the third leg of the 800-meter freestyle relay race for the United States. Her journey continued when she qualified for the 2000 and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic teams. (Most of you know triathlon is swimming, cycling and running.) Sheila placed sixth in the triathlon in Sydney, 2000 and 23rd in Athens, 2004.


For the 2008 Beijing Games, Sheila is competing in the sport of modern pentathlon. What is pentathlon? Competitors earn points for their performances in each of the five disciplines: pistol shooting, epee fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping and cross-country running. As we get closer to the Games, I'll detail more on the sport of pentathlon.


ESPN's Carrie Sheinberg wrote a great column on Sheila that can be found here.



Sheila is one of eight children. Her family is top priority for her. Prior to past Olympic Games, Sheila sold t-shirts to help finance travel to the Games for a few family members. She is doing it again, but this time the t-shirt has special meaning. It is part of history.



Sheila's sister Sudee designed the shirt. The t-shirt design includes the flags of all four countries that have hosted the four Olympics in which Sheila has competed. They are a backdrop within the design, so you should see the flags for the USA, Australia, Greece, and China. Also, all five sports of the modern pentathlon included in the design. Take note how the fencer's bell-guard is also the target for the shooter.



You can see the shirt on Sheila's website and there is easy ordering from Amazon on that site via the special link. Notice the price of the shirt, only $20, includes shipping.



Now, for a bit of extra effort on your part (writing a check and sending an order form in the ordinary mail system) you can get the shirt directly from Sheila's family, have it signed by Sheila if you wish and get a certificate of authenticity.



If you are not currently on the home page for this blog, click on the title of the blog. At the bottom of the blog you will find an attachment that is the order form for the t-shirt.



I'm happy to help Sheila and her family.



I traveled to many events on the ITU World Cup circuit with Shiela, we had a lot of good laughs. In the coming weeks, I'll share some of the stories and a few behind-the-scenes photos. Below is a photo of Sheila relaxing on the curb in front of our house after the 2004 Olympic Triathlon event.





3,294 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: olympics, usa_triathlon, sheila_taormina, modern_pentathlon, olympic_games

I had a hard time thinking of a title that covered all of the items in this post. I think I got it...


I got a note from Susan Williams (Yes, THAT Susan Williams - Olympic bronze medalist, triathlon 2004 Olympic Games) a couple of weeks ago asking if I was going to pre-ride any of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race course in July? If so, would it be okay if she joined the group? (Be sure to click on both hot links about Susan. One is a story of the race and the other is a nice podium shot with her daughter Sydney.)


Of course!


She missed our first July pre-ride because she was vacationing in Mexico for 10 days with her family. We hooked up last Friday and headed up to Twin Lakes for a pre-ride of the Columbine Mine climb.


Below is a photo of the gang at Twin Lakes. Left to right: Roy Gatesman, Dave Newman, Susan Williams, Ernie Wintergerst, Jeff Bruno, Scott Ellis, Stewart Pomeroy and Todd Kornfield. (Roy, Todd and Stewart work at Peloton Cycles, my favorite bike shop.)




Catching up with Susan, she is enjoying time with her two daughters, Syndey and Elysia, along with husband Tim. She is coaching other athletes to be successful out of her home base of Littleton, Colorado. She stays active by doing some racing and training.



The weekend before the Leadville race she is doing the 200-Mile Colorado Wild West Relay as one member of a six person team. While not optimal training and rest for the Leadville race, she's enjoying doing different kinds of events and staying fit. For Leadville, her biggest goal is to enjoy the event. (She says her mountain bike skills are still in the development stages, especially the downhill.)



The group enjoyed the Columbine climb that is not quite as enjoyable on race day. A map of the event can be found here, with the Columbine climb being the high pointy spot in the center.



On race day, there is two-way traffic on the road. In some places the road is in good shape (like where the hare is crossing below at about 12,000 ft. elevation) and in other places there is still snow.





Okay wildlife experts is this a common hare (I think this is not a rabbit, but is a hare - verify for me) or a snowshoe hare? Seems big for a snowshoe hare, but those are incredibly furry hind feet. What do you think?



Above the hare photo location on the mountain, remains a giant snowfield. The group estimates it is at least a couple of feet deep and we wonder if it will be gone by race day.



Roy is beginning to cross the snowfield and Todd is pushing through on the next photo. Roy and Stewart are taking in the view post-snowfield in the third photo below.









At the top is an old structure that reminds me of how hard life would have been in the rich mining times of Leadville. Imagine living and working at 12,600 feet in the late 1800s. Tough people, really tough.





A second view at the top shows surrounding peaks and clouds threatening to drop rain. Time to get off the mountain.





We did beat the rain and had enough time to stop into race headquarters and introduce Susan to Merilee (the race director). Susan is so humble and unassuming that she didn't bother to tell the race directors of her past accomplishments. I have no problem telling others about Susan's great accomplishments - she rocks!



So, what is her training secret for Leadville?



Turkey leg at Q4U in Frisco...





2,976 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: leadville, olympic_games, leadville_100, leadville_100_mountain_bike_race, susan_williams, olympic_medalist