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Should Ironmen (and women) become Olympians?

Oct 12, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT

Asia Pacific Championships Ironman Getty Images

On Saturday, 84 professional athletes and a couple thousand age groupers will push their bodies to the limit at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Some say it’s the ultimate test – a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bike ride along the windy Hawaiian coast and then a 26.2-mile run in the heat.

The top athletes will finish in less then nine hours; some of the amateurs in the field will take 18 hours. Some won’t finish at all.

There are Ironman and Iron-distance races throughout the year, but Kona is the big one. It’s where the best male and female triathletes in the world are named each October.

So here’s a thought: Why not add an Ironman triathlon event to the Olympics? There’s already an Olympic distance triathlon, which consists of a 1500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run. The next logical step might be to add a half-Ironman, but we’d like to skip over that one and move to the big kahuna.

Five reasons why we think Ironman should be in the Olympics:

- We’re pretty sure it would be the longest one-day event at the Olympics (ahead of the road cycling race)
- Spectators can watch it for free
- It would provide these athletes a bigger stage than Ironman Kona
- With 34 sports, the summer Olympics need another sport
- If golf gets in, why not Ironman?

Golf has an established schedule of tournaments and majors throughout the year. Ironman does too. The IOC added golf to the Olympics starting with the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

At any rate, you can watch Saturday’s race live on UniversalSports.com starting at 11:30 a.m. ET or catch NBC’s coverage on Oct. 27.

  1. phipfwe76 - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I feel like the regular triathlon would have to go for this one to come in….

  2. cpalentri - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    It’s obvious no one cares…so uh…no!

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