FOUR Captains for the International Team at The Collins Cup…
…and an update on progress of event plans and location
Having already announced the Captain’s for Team USA (Dave Scott, Karen Smyers) and the European Team (Normann Stadler, Chrissie Wellington) for the debut of The Collins Cup in 2018, the International Team Captain’s have now been released – and they will be overflowing with triathlon legends, thanks to Simon Whitfield, Craig Alexander, Erin Baker and Lisa Bentley.
So, when (and where) is the event?!
When we interviewed Professional Triathletes Organisation CEO, Charles Adamo, when the Collins Cup concept was first launched last year, he commented that the decision to go for a 2018 launch was because, “Television coverage (live) is central to this event and schedules are booked up a long way in advance. This gives time to introduce the event in the appropriate manner.”
While steps have been put into place with the Team Captain announcements, what has been going on behind the scenes with regards to the event? Nothing would appear to be set in stone as yet – but we should know by August.
“Since we announced Chrissie and Norman as our European Captains, and lined up our International Captains, a bun fight has broken out as to where we should hold the first Collins Cup as a number of different locations have contacted us. We hope to finalise our decision by no later than August.”
It will also appear that the assumption that the first event would be held in the USA is no longer a given…
“We are not going to comment on any specific location, but the field is wide open and we are considering a number of locations in and outside of the USA.”
So, still a few bridges to cross before the one is over the line. We’ll be watching with interest.
THE PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETES ORGANISATION ANNOUNCES CRAIG ALEXANDER, SIMON WHITFIELD, ERIN BAKER AND LISA BENTLEY AS CAPTIANS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM AT THE COLLINS CUP
The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced the appointment of Craig Alexander, 3x IRONMAN World Champion and Kona course record holder; Simon Whitfield, Olympic Gold and Silver Medal winner; Erin Baker, 2x IRONMAN World Champion and ITU World Champion and Lisa Bentley, 11x IRONMAN Champion, as Captains for the International Team at The Collins Cup. The Collins Cup is a first of its kind global competition in which teams of professional triathletes from the USA, Europe and the rest of the World (the “Internationals”) will compete to determine which region dominates the sport of triathlon.
Modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, The Collins Cup will be a long-distance team competition among USA, Europe and the Internationals. Each team will consist of 12 professional triathletes, six men and six women. (Click here to see The Collins Cup–How It Works.)
Triathlon’s first Olympic Gold Medal winner, Simon Whitfield, remarked, “It is an honour to be one of the International Captains. Triathlon is such a fantastic and close-knit sport. It is funny to think I first met Crowie as a school boy in Australia, and now we are helping lead the International Team. It is a privilege as a Canadian, together with Lisa, to be an integral part of The Collins Cup. Canada has a rich history in the sport, having been the birth place of the ITU, and punches way above its weight when it comes to producing top level athletes. This will be a stunning completion.”
Erin Baker, one of the pioneers of the sport, stated, “I’m thrilled to be an International Captain. Since The Collins Cup was first announced, I was excited to see this compelling format, and particularly the PTO’s commitment to our sport’s ethos of gender equality. Having men and women professional athletes competing together as a team once again puts on display the unique nature of triathlon’s position in the sporting world, but one that cannot be taken for granted. I applaud the PTO’s vigilance in this area and look forward to helping lead the International Team.”
Craig Alexander commented, “It is a privilege to have been selected as one of the International Team Captains for the inaugural Collins Cup and to serve with Simon, Erin, and Lisa. The Collins Cup is an exciting new concept and with legendary Captains Dave Scott, Karen Smyers, Chrissie Wellington and Normann Stadler coming together to help lead today’s top athletes, should be an epic event. It will be an incredible celebration of our sport and I am excited and honoured to be a part of it.”
Lisa Bentley observed, “This is very exciting for the sport of triathlon. It will be thrilling for the captains and the athletes to be part of the inaugural Collins Cup and bring triathlon into the homes of sport enthusiasts around the world. The format of having head-to-head races among the best professional triathletes in the world will be dramatic. It will be an honour to work together as captains with such great champions as Craig, Erin and Simon. We raced together and now get to share our experiences with today’s professionals. The depth of the International team will be strong, and we look forward to challenging the USA and Europe.”
About Craig Alexander
Australian Craig Alexander is a 3x IRONMAN World Champion (2008, 2009 and 2011), and 2x IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion (2006 and 2011). He holds the IROMMAN Kona Course record of 8:03:56. While Crowie is a fierce and relentless competitor on the race course, at the core of his success and achievements is an appreciation index that’s thankful for every breath and a self-assured humility that has been forged in the foundry of bloody hard work. Crowie is known for his humble attitude and he combines this with a firm love for sport. He is the author of As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman World Champion, and the founder of SansEgo, a coaching platform that focuses on optimizing fitness, nutrition, and life balance. www.sansego.co.
About Lisa Bentley
Lisa Bentley is a renowned Canadian triathlete. She is an 11x IRONMAN winner as well as a 16x IRONMAN 70.3 winner. In 2006 she finished 3rd in the IRONMAN World Championships and 2nd in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, and won one at least one IRONMAN event each year from 2000-2007. In 2014, she was inducted into the Canadian Triathlon Hall of Fame. Her accomplishments in the sport are particularly remarkable as she reached the highest levels of our sport while managing cystic fibrosis. She very much epitomises the spirit of triathlon as more than just a sport but a vehicle to overcome challenges and spread hope. Since she retired from racing, Lisa has been running marathons and doing motivational speaking and television commentary. She is the founder of Crackley Inc. and provides coaching camps, consulting and management services for professional and age-grouper triathletes. www.lisabentley.com She delivers motivational speeches for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and promotes the need for CF research as part of the Cure4CF campaign.
About Erin Baker
Erin Baker, from New Zealand, was the ITU’s first Triathlon World Champion (1989) and 2x IRONMAN World Champion (1987 and 1990). Erin holds the distinction of winning a total of 104 out of the 121 races she entered. She was instrumental in establishing the gender equality that sport enjoys today, when in 1989 she refused to start a world championship race in Nice because the prize offering for women was not equal to that of the men. Since that day, the sport has been vigilant in its offering of equal prize money. She is an inaugural member of the ITU Hall of Fame. When Triathlete Magazine recognised her as the Triathlete of the Decade, it commented on her success by saying, “We’ve stopped trying to figure Erin out, we just accept her as the best female triathlete that ever lived.” In 1993, she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Erin lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and has served as a councillor on the Christchurch City Council.
About Simon Whitfield
Canadian Simon Whitfield is triathlon’s first Olympic Gold Medallist in Sydney 2000, and the Olympic Silver Medallist in Beijing 2008. He is a 4x Olympian, 14x ITU World Cup Winner, and 12x Canadian National Champion. Simon is a member of the ITU Triathlon Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. He is the author of Simon Says Gold: Simon Whitfield’s Pursuit of Athletic Excellence. Simon is the Co-Founder of Relentless Pursuit Partners, an investment and consultancy team dedicated to healthy, active living in a connected world. www.relentlesspursuitpartners.com