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In the history of Olympic triathlon, a reigning world champion has never won an Olympic gold medal. Just think about that. While triathlon is a young Olympic sport, this sort of situation is unheard of in cycling, swimming and running, which goes to show you how many variables there are in Olympic triathlon, and that anything can happen.
2000 World Champion
Men: Olivier Marceau, Switzerland (2000 Olympics: 7th)
Women: Nicole Hackett, Australia* (2000 Olympics: 9th)
2004 World Champion
Men: Bevan Docherty, New Zealand (2004 Olympics: 2nd)
Women: Sheila Taormina, USA (2004 Olympics: 23rd)
2008 World Champion
Men: Javier Gomez, Spain (2008 Olympics: 4th)
Women: Helen Jenkins, Great Britain (2008 Olympics: 21st)
2012 will be the first year that the world champion will be crowned after the Olympics. The reigning world champions heading into the Olympics are:
Men: Alistair Brownlee, Great Britain
Women: Helen Jenkins, Great Britain
This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of Inside Triathlon.
For more from the Olympics, visit Triathlete.com/Olympics.