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.
Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
From NBC Universal:
“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”
Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.
With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.
MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019
Los Angeles Lakers point guard José Calderón retired from Spain’s national team after playing in his fourth Olympics in Rio.
Calderón, 34, earned silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016 for Spain, which lost to the U.S. in the medal rounds at each of the last three Olympics.
Calderón is one of five Spaniards to play in the last four Olympic tournaments, along with Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes.
Calderón came off the bench in Rio and played 25 minutes total in five of the team’s eight games. He’s entering his 12th season in the NBA.
Gasol, who will be 40 years old come Tokyo 2020, has not determined when he will end his international career.
VIDEO: Top basketball moments from Rio Olympics