EDMONTON – The medals have been handed out and the 3,000 athletes have gone home, but organizers of the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final are still buzzing about the event.
“It matches everything we were expecting. We definitely raised the bar,” said Sheila O’Kelly, ITU World Triathlon Grand Final president.
More than 100,000 people watched the races.
According to organizers, the triathlon has brought about $19 million in direct economic spinoff for Edmonton, not to mention the exposure the city received through television coverage.
“The television audience is 45 million in 160 countries. So that’s huge exposure for Edmonton,” explained O’Kelly.
The last time Edmonton hosted a world championship race was in 2001, but race organizers said they’ve been told by ITU officials that it won’t be another 13 years before the city hosts another.
“They would like Edmonton to stay on as a World Triathlon event. We should know that pretty quickly,” said O’Kelly.
It’s something Mayor Don Iveson is hoping will become a reality.
“I’d love to see us become a triathlon hub. Those young people like Paula Findlay who were inspired by the 2001 triathlon, I’d like to work with the ITU to keep this event coming regularly to Edmonton.”
With files from Global News’ Fletcher Kent
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