September 1, 2014 6:11 pm

Edmonton big winner following ITU triathlon: organizers

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.


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Read More: Britain’s Alistair Brownlee races to triathlon gold, Canada’s Kyle Jones finishes 18th

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.

Global News: Edmonton’s Paula Findlay overwhelmed by home crowd support at international triathlon event

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.

Read More: ‘I’d love to see us be a triathlon hub': Iveson on bringing international events to Edmonton

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

© Shaw Media, 2014

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