The rumors, fostered by the same small clique of non-participating
malcontents that have been bashing the ITU for the past several years, are
just plain wrong. In a recent post on the Digest, I presented the actual
(and audited) ITU financials. They show the ITU to:
1. Be revenue positive from operations (to the tune of about $100,000 per
year in 2000).
2. Have $500,000 in the bank and no short or long-term debt.
3. Have secured nearly $2.5 million per year in sponsorship. NOTE:
$500,000 per year comes from the ITU's marketing partner (SMG of Great
Britain), $1 million as rights fees from event organizers, and nearly $1
million per year as triathlon's share of tv money from the IOC.
4. Have developed an international race circuit with nearly $1.5 million in
prize money in the sport of triathlon alone (events including 13 world cups
at $65,000 each, worlds at $160,000, 40 international points races at
5. Have instituted a program to significantly aid the development of the
sport in the developing world (the most prominent feature are "Solidarity
camps" for the most promising athletes).
6. Made the Olympic Games program within 12 years of beginning the quest -
which guarantees the sport a share of the Olympic tv money once every four
years (it was $3.6 million in 2000 and promises to increase in 2004).
7. Be doing all of this on VERY low overhead. From the financials, it looks
like over 85% of incoming revenues go back into the product itself.
*NOTE: To help you understand my reference to "non-participating
malcontents", you need to know the following:
A. The 10 nations most involved in the anti-ITU crusade have been Germany,
Austria, Poland, Ireland, Slovenia, Columbia, Venezuela, Costa Rica,
Honduras, and the Cook Islands. Taken together, these nations (and
"nations" is extremely generous for the Cook Islands, a New Zealand
dependency with less than 100 square miles of total land mass and under
20,000 total inhabitants) have 10 votes in the ITU, but put on ZERO
international events and sent a total of 41 athletes (out of 1051) to
participate in the 1999 World Championship in Montreal.
B. Meanwhile, the nine most active nations (Australia, Great Britain,
Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, France, South Africa, and the U.S.) put
on over half of the international events and sent 940 athletes to compete in
C. All of the nations in Group B support the current ITU . . . but under the
current ITU constitution, Group A can outvote Group B. This disparity of
voting power is equivalent to that of the white minority in South Africa
under the apartheid regime and threatens a potentially dangerous political
> ITU Triathlon: Where are the world's women?
> There were 55 women racing in the International Triathlon Union's
> World Championships last month in Edmonton. Four countries -- USA (7),
> Canada (7), Britain (6) and Australia (6) -- provided 47 percent of
> the competitors, 26 of those 55. The 29 others came from the rest of
> the ITU's 123 countries (or however many countries the ITU is counting
> these days).
> Katherine Williams raises some very interesting points in this
> article, which has been posted on the Runner's Web (with permission)
> from yesterday's Triathlon Digest.
> Ken Parker
> Runner's Web
> A running and triathlon resource site