Olympic silver medalist and Ironman world champion Michellie Jones was inducted into the Australian Triathlon Hall of Fame in Melbourne on Thursday.
“It’s definitely an honor to be considered for induction,” Jones said in a statement about the induction. “It’s a great reminder of all the achievements in your sport. To actually be inducted will be extra icing on the cake on my sporting career.”
“I have been very blessed to be able achieve so much in the sport of triathlon,” she continued. “The sport of triathlon not only has defined me in my sporting life but also well beyond the playing field. Triathlon is a big part of who I am and it’s like family having raced 25 years as a professional. I hope I have inspired others to believe that anything is possible no matter how unreachable it may seem.”
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame selection committee had no doubts about Jones’ special contribution to triathlon and Australian sport in general.
“Michellie Jones took Australian women’s triathlon to new heights, dominating the world from 1991 to 2003 in the hugely popular Olympic distance triathlon. Not satisfied, she then moved up to the full ironman, winning the legendary Kona Hawaiian Ironman in 2006,” Chair Robert de Castella said.
Recap Jones’ career with this excerpt from our Top 25 Greatest Female Triathletes Of All Time list, which put Jones at No. 3.
Let’s start with her wins at the classic races like St. Anthony’s (seven), Escape from Alcatraz (eight) and Chicago (seven). Then, when triathlon became an Olympic sport and drafting was legalized, Jones became a quick study and won two ITU World Cup titles, two ITU World Championships and a total of eight medals at the ITU World Championships.
She even won the XTERRA World Championship, proving that she could also handle a mountain bike.
In 2000, in front of the home crowd in Sydney, Australia, she won the silver medal in the first ever Olympic triathlon, losing the gold in a sprint finish to Switzerland’s Brigitte McMahon, who five years later tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Jones stepped up to the full distance and earned three Ironman victories including the 2006 Ironman World Championship title.
To this day, she is the only triathlete, male or female, to have an Olympic medal and an Ironman world championship title.