Former IRONMAN World Champions and leaders honored for their dedication, passion and contributions to IRONMAN
TAMPA, Fla. – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, is pleased to announce the IRONMAN® Hall of Fame Class of 2019: athletes Tim DeBoom and Michellie Jones, and IRONMAN contributors Kenneth Gasque and Jan War. The ceremony will be held on Oct. 9 during race week at the 2019 Vega IRONMAN® World Championship, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
“As we have spent this year celebrating all those who make up the IRONMAN `Ohana, it is fitting that we honor these four individuals who have been some of the most successful and influential members of our `ohana,” 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, 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 community.”
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 and is an accomplished triathlete beyond Kona, having won the 1999 IRONMAN New Zealand triathlon as well as the 2001 IRONMAN California triathlon.
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 as IRONMAN Lanzarote boasts the title of being the second oldest IRONMAN event in Europe/Middle East/Asia (EMEA) region. 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.
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 in 2005 with a win at the IRONMAN Florida triathlon and a second-place finish in her first appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship. She followed this with a win at the 2006 IRONMAN Arizona triathlon and ultimately her pinnacle moment with IRONMAN 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.
Jan War is one of the leading foundational members of the IRONMAN `Ohana. 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 O`ahu 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.
Founded in 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous endurance race series. DeBoom, Gasque, Jones, and War join a prestigious list of remarkable individuals honored for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN both inside and outside of competition.
Athletes Tim DeBoom and Michellie Jones react to their selection
“As a professional athlete, it is really hard to see out of the moment and appreciate the accomplishments along the way. I was always just focused on the next event,” said Tim DeBoom. “Now, having been removed from racing for quite a while, I am extremely proud of my career. Being inducted into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and seeing my name next to all the other amazing members is an incredible honor and something I will cherish forever.”
“I didn’t think IRONMAN was ever going to be a path I would follow as it terrified and intimidated me,” said Michellie Jones. “But destiny led me to one of the highlights of my career and now to be headed into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame in October I am extremely honored and extremely privileged to what my sport has bestowed on me. I am truly grateful to all those that made my journey possible.”
IRONMAN Hall of Fame:
|1998||John and Judy Collins|
|2001||Dr. Bob Laird|
|2003||John MacLean / Gordon Haller / Lyn Lemaire|
|2008||Team Hoyt – Rick and Dick Hoyt|
|2014||Georg Hochegger / Helge Lorenz / Stefan Petschnig|
|2015||Lori Bowden / Heather Fuhr|
|2016||Lew Friedland / Peter Reid|
|2018||Ken Baggs / Erin Baker / Rocky Campbell / Scott Molina|
|2019||Tim DeBoom / Kenneth Gasque / Michellie Jones / Jan War|
For more information about the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and its members, visit www.ironman.com/hof.
About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes.
Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.