USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Celebrates Four Newest Inductees

Photo by Jim Sediacek

Four-time U.S. Olympian and Colorado Springs resident Hunter Kemper among four, inducted in the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame last weekend.

BY USA TRIATHLON

USA Triathlon celebrated the accomplishments of four distinguished multisport athletes on Thursday night at the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The ceremony was held at Windows on the River in Cleveland, in conjunction with the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships taking place here Saturday and Sunday.

Four-time U.S. Olympian Hunter Kemper was the sole elite-athlete inductee, formally announcing his retirement from professional triathlon as part of the ceremony. Mike Reilly, the “Voice of IRONMAN,” and age-group multisport standouts Donna Smyers and James “Jim” Ward (posthumous), were also honored. The inductees, who make up the Hall of Fame’s ninth induction class, were joined by nearly 200 friends, family members and fans of triathlon for the evening of celebration.

Two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler and 1996 Olympic silver medalist Matt Ghaffari delivered the keynote speech. Ghaffari, a local Clevelander, spoke about what it means to be successful at the highest levels of amateur and professional sport. He emphasized the importance of self-improvement every day, a practice he valued throughout his storied athletic career.

“The first time I wrestled (Russian Aleksandr Karelin), I lost 11-1. The last time I wrestled him, it was overtime in the Olympic finals, 1-0,” Ghaffari said. “I could live with that. I closed the gap, I got better. If you take one message with you tonight: each day, strive to get better and better than yesterday. Today, just try to be better than yesterday, a little bit braver. Something different. Challenge yourself.”

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