Honorary ITU president, Les McDonald, passes away

Triathlon.org is reporting that the International Triathlon Union’s honorary president Les McDonald has died, aged 84.

News of his death came yesterday. McDonald served as ITU’s president from 1989 through until 2008.

Among McDonald’s primary achievements he is credited as having been a driving force in seeing triathlon included in the Olympic Summer Games. He is also remembered for his active role in creating opportunities for female athletes, something which the Triathlon site attributes to Les’ own personal ties to the suffragette movement.

In 2010 McDonald was awarded the Olympic Order during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, the highest recognition by the IOC.

McDonald took to competing in marathons himself in the 1970s, discovering triathlon shortly after. He is credited with bringing the sport to Vancouver having competed in California. In 1981 McDonald was instrumental in running Canada’s first ever triathlon, held at Vancouver’s Spanish Banks.

The Brit was born in Felling upon Tyne, just outside of Newcastle in 1933.

Image: Triathlon.org