Olympics Adds Mixed Relay

The International Triathlon Union's push to add the Triathlon Mixed Relay to the Olympic Program has paid off. The IOC announced a raft of new events including this one.

"We’ve been pushing for the Mixed Relays to be included in the Programme for quite a long time," said ITU president Marisol Casado, "as it is an event that gives the sport something very important: a sense of team building. But most important, is an event that demonstrates that women and men can compete together but both are equally important to the success of the team."

This addition, along with a mixed-gender 4 x 400 meter relay in Track & Field and in swimming's 4 x 100 meter relay, signals and interest by the IOC in events that feature gender-integration.

What is Triathlon Mixed Relay? Each member of a 4-person team comprised of two men and two women complete a short triathlon— 300m swim, 8km bike, 2km run—relay style.

Triathlon Mixed Relay is a current fixture in the Youth Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, and it has been recently added on the program for the Pan American Games. This format was first covered on Slowtwitch in 2009, when it was called Team Triathlon Worlds and was held during the HyVee Triathlon. The Mixed Relay has been a part of the Collegiate triathlon championships since at least 2012.

It was noted in Slowtwitch's coverage of the 2013 Mixed Relay WC that the ITU had been pushing hard for inclusion of this format in the Olympics, and in a video chat with the ITU's Brian Mahoney in 2014 on Slowtwitch the enthusiasm for Mixed Relay was evident.

The United States is the reigning Triathlon Mixed Relay world champion.