The U.S. Olympic Triathlete Selection Process

U.S. Olympic Triathlete Selection Process pic
U.S. Olympic Triathlete Selection Process

Mark Allen Hanrahan, CPA, is a longtime Iowa real estate investment executive who leads the consulting firm Markmel Co. LLC. An avid sportsman, Mark Hanrahan has taken part in more than 60 triathlons, including six Ironman events. Mark Allen Hanrahan serves on the board of the Des Moines Triathlon Club and promotes triathlon events in his home state. He also organizes funding for triathletes who are seeking to compete in the Rio Olympics.

Qualifying for the U.S. triathlon team begins with meeting minimum National Olympic Committee standards, which include maintaining top 140 standing within International Triathlon Union (ITU) lists. Athletes can earn a quota place and eligibility through achieving top results in ITU Olympic qualification events.

Provided these criteria are met, U.S. triathletes vie for a spot through three selection events, held in Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, and Yokohama in the first half of 2016. The first triathlon event in Rio is particularly important, as the two highest-finishing U.S. athletes automatically qualify for the Olympic team, as long as their overall finish is 8th place or better. If fewer than two athletes automatically qualify through the first event, this system carries over to the next event. To automatically qualify for the team in the third event, the U.S. athlete must achieve a third or better finish. Should any spots remain on the three-maximum men’s or women’s team, a complex points-based “domestique” selection process is next undertaken.