(BIVN) – A reception and celebration was held for four inductees into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening at Huliheʻe Palace along Kona’s Aliʻi Drive.
“Induction into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the sport,” an event media release stated. “Since its inception in 1993, only 36 men and women have attained that distinction, all representing the pinnacle of accomplishment, dedication, and the spirit of ʻohana. This year, as it has before, IRONMAN inducted members from both sides of the aisle: those who compete, and those who make it possible for them to compete.”
Here are this year’s inductees (descriptions provided by IRONMAN):
- Michellie Jones is one of the most accomplished triathletes of all-time leaving an undeniable mark on IRONMAN as the first Australian woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship. As a two-time ITU Triathlon World Champion (1992 and 1993) and XTERRA Triathlon World Champion (1996), Jones carried her immense success into the 2000 Olympic Games taking home a Silver medal in triathlon. She continued to showcase her talent across all distances winning the 2006 IRONMAN World Championship title paving the way for future Australians. Not one to leave a stone unturned, she returned to the Olympics again in 2016 when she served as a guide for paratriathlete Katie Kelly, taking home the gold medal. Jones has been inducted into both the ITU Hall of Fame and the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame and remains active in the sport of triathlon as an IRONMAN U Certified Coach through her Giddy Up coaching group and serving as the head coach for the University of California San Diego Triton triathlon team.
- Tim DeBoom is a two-time IRONMAN World Champion and the last American to win the IRONMAN World Championship. DeBoom won in back-to-back years, claiming the title in 2002 after capturing an emotional victory in 2001, just a month after Sept. 11. At the time of his victories, DeBoom was just the third male to ever repeat as IRONMAN World Champion, joining Dave Scott and Mark Allen. In addition to his victories, DeBoom finished on the podium at the 1999 and 2000 IRONMAN World Championship triathlons. He was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2015.
- Kenneth Gasque is a four-time IRONMAN World Championship finisher and the founder of the incredibly popular IRONMAN Lanzarote triathlon. Gasque was inspired by the similarities between Hawai`i and Lanzarote and believed the small volcanic island of Lanzarote was the perfect location to replicate the conditions for hosting an IRONMAN triathlon. Gasque began serving as race director for IRONMAN Lanzarote in 1992 and remains honorary race director to this day. Always one to care for the athletes and their experience, Gasque became well known for being at the finish line to greet and shake the hand of every single person who crossed the finish line even if it meant staying until after 1 a.m. IRONMAN Lanzarote continues to boast the title of being the second oldest IRONMAN event in Europe/Middle East/Asia (EMEA) region.
- Jan War is one of the leading foundational members of the IRONMAN ʻOhana. War has been an IRONMAN volunteer for nearly 40 years and has been the Swim Director for the IRONMAN World Championship for 32 years. Originally raised on the Island of Oʻahu before moving to Kailua-Kona in 1975, War has helped showcase and shape the importance of volunteerism through IRONMAN as he has helped oversee the approximately 300+ swim course volunteers who assist annually with the IRONMAN World Championship. Without his dedication and willingness to give to others, IRONMAN and the IRONMAN World Championship would not be what they are today.
“As we have spent the past year celebrating all those who make up the IRONMAN ʻOhana, it is fitting that we honor these four individuals who have contributed so much to our sport,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Tim, Kenneth, Michellie, and Jan, whether through their athletic accomplishments or their contributions to our sport, each left an indelible mark on the world of triathlon and IRONMAN itself. Their induction into our Hall of Fame is our way of honoring what they have meant to us and the greater IRONMAN ʻOhana.”