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International Triathlon Union (ITU) Honorary President Les McDonald was honored with the Order of Canada in Ottawa on Friday. McDonald served as ITU’s president from its inception in 1989 until 2008. He is largely credited with getting the sport of triathlon into the Olympic Summer Games.
“Les McDonald’s impact on the global evolution of the sport and the governing body was very significant. Those of us who were privileged to share this journey with him are very pleased that this honour has been bestowed on him by his native land,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.
Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the center piece of Canada’s honors system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.
McDonald, who also served as the inaugural president of Triathlon Canada, a position he held from 1984-1996, was nominated for the Order by former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge, former IOC Vice-President Dick Pound and four-time Olympic triathlete Simon Whitfield. McDonald was recognized with the honor in in Ottawa’s Rideau Hall by His Excellency the Right Honourable Governor General David Johnston.
“On behalf of everyone in the triathlon community we owe a great deal to relentless work ethic of Les McDonald who paved the way for our sport,” said Luc Landriault, president, Triathlon Canada, who added that McDonald also received the Olympic Order in 2010. “We look forward to building on his legacy and push for triathlon’s continued growth across the country.”
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