Triathlon at Olympics was introduced as a new sports event at the 2000 Summer Games held in Sydney. It is an endurance sports event that comprises swimming, running and cycling over a range of distances.
The origin of the event is dated back to the year 1974. The first Triathlon was held in the Mission Bay of San Diego in California. The events were organized by the San Diego Track Club members during summer evenings. The first Triathlon, with 46 participants, was held on 25th of September 1974 under the direction of Jack Johnstone and Don Shanahan. Ever since then, the 25th September is celebrated as the day of the origin of modern Triathlon. The first Triathlon event comprised a 500 meters swim, 10 km run and 8 km cycling.
After a few years, Triathlon at Olympics received international recognition and in the year 1989 the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was established in Avignon, France and the first International Triathlon was hosted. At this international competition of Triathlon new ranges were set, which later became the benchmark distances for the ITU World Cup and the Olympics. From then on the event became a popular sport which grew rapidly with a number of national federations associating with it.
The event was introduced in the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney. It was open to all male and female participants. The women Triathlon event took place on the first day whereas the men Triathlon event took place on the second day. The first medal winners of the newly introduced game were Brigette McMahon of Switzerland and Simon Whitfield of Canada respectively.
The triathlon events are also scheduled to be held at the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing 2008.