(BIVN) – As COVID-19 cases continue to surge on Hawaiʻi island, officials on Thursday announced that the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship will be rescheduled to February of next year.
From the IRONMAN Group:
IRONMAN in conjunction with local Hawaiʻi officials announced today that due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic to the Island of Hawaiʻi, the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN® World Championship has been rescheduled from its originally scheduled October 9, 2021 race date to February 5, 2022. Like 1982, we expect that there will be two editions of the IRONMAN World Championship in 2022 (February and October).
“The resurgence of the virus and new Delta strain has had significant impact on the island community of Hawaiʻi. Combined with substantial border closures and travel restrictions for qualified athletes, there is not a viable pathway in October to host the IRONMAN World Championship,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “After extensive consultation with governmental and community leaders in Hawaiʻi, we believe that the best course of action is to delay the event until February of 2022.”
“We have worked closely with local and state Hawaiʻi officials and other key event stakeholders, and are aligned in the imperative to protect our local community by shifting planning efforts to a February race date,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President, World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group. “Our local community, athletes, partners, volunteers, and all other members of our ʻohana — who represent our Hawaiian roots and history — feel pride and confidence in this difficult decision. We will work towards welcoming our athletes back to the Island of Hawaiʻi in February with the racing experience for which the IRONMAN World Championship is famous.”
“We are honored to work alongside the fantastic IRONMAN staff, amid a global pandemic, to reach an equitable solution that ensures our island’s premier sporting event may persist at a later date,” said Hawaiʻi County Mayor, Mitch Roth. “Since the first race in 1978, the event has become an integral part of our county’s global identity, and we look forward to welcoming the athletes and spectators from around the world to our shores once again when it is safe to do so.”
“The IRONMAN World Championship is an iconic part of our Hawai`i Island community and history. For over 40 years, our community has supported IRONMAN and cheered on participants from all over the globe. In return, IRONMAN has continued to support our community during these challenging times. I am deeply grateful for IRONMAN’s $1,000,000 commitment to feed our residents in need throughout 2020 and 2021 with their Kahiau Together program. As IRONMAN continues to mālama and truly care about our island community, we look forward to welcoming the IRONMAN World Championship back in 2022 with our full support,” said State Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha.
The pandemic has greatly impacted the Hawaiian community not only through deadly cases of COVID, but also significantly hurting the local economy due to limited tourism opportunities. As the impact of the pandemic was felt in our home community where our staff and many volunteers live and work, a targeted initiative, Kahiau Together, was created alongside the IRONMAN Foundation in July 2020 to support locals who were suffering due to food insecurities. By years end, the Kahiau Together initiative will have hosted 25 events locally, serving over 132,000 meals through the distribution of food bundles of locally sourced fresh proteins, fruits, vegetables, and starches. An additional $30,000 in grants from the IRONMAN Foundation has been provided to non-profits feeding their communities. Those needing support can attend one of the following upcoming events:
Wednesday, September 1 – Kamehameha Park
A Meal Fit for a Queen – Celebrating the birth month of Queen Lili`uokalani
Monday, October 4 – Kona International Marketplace
Heroes of Hawai`i
Monday, November 22 – Kona International Marketplace
Monday, December 20 – Kona International Marketplace
IRONMAN Athletes who are registered for the 2021 edition of the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon will be contacted directly. For more information and event details for the IRONMAN World Championship, please visit ironman.com.
There are no material changes in qualifying for professional or age-group athletes for the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship.