When the games in Rio are over, the triathlon athletes head here. The final two ITU events are in North America. No one wants to fly home, only to turn around and come back. But they’ll have some time to kill before the races in Hawrelak Park so they’ll need a place to stay.
“What we’re working with ITU on is finding hosts, so when athletes get here early we have places for them to stay,” Sheila O’Kelly, the executive director of Edmonton’s triathlon said in a phone interview. O’Kelly said they’re working with the ITU on a billeting plan.
“If we want to keep the Asian and Oceania and European, and South African athletes on the continent we want to be able to make it easy for them to fly directly to Edmonton and we’re hoping to host them for a week before they go to the hotel.”
“We just started the process. Richard Murray, who won the race last year, we’ve got him all set up. We’ve got a couple of New Zealanders set up. We have the Czech republic and we know the Australians are coming directly here.”
Edmonton triathlon volunteers are being used for the one week of home stays, before the athletes move on to the sponsor hotel. The closing ceremonies in Rio are on Aug 21. The athletes start arriving in Edmonton on the 23rd. The races at Hawrelak Park are Sept 2-4.
One week later, on the 11th, the Grand Final is in Cozumel. “I think the athletes’ plan is to stay on the continent,” O’Kelly said. “It makes sense for us to try to accommodate them and get as many of them here in the Edmonton area leading into the race.”
As for Edmonton hosting the grand final again, O’Kelly said efforts are being made for the 2020 event.