While it became clear yesterday that the Ironman World Championships in Kona are in jeopardy and that the severe lockdown in Hawaii makes it unclear whether the event will be able to proceed normally (mainly because it will be difficult for many foreign athletes to travel without issues) Ironman has now, without really bringing much attention to it, adjusted its “deferral policy.” Athletes with a slot for this year, may move that slot forward to 2023, 2024 or 2025.
If athletes want to do that, however, they must make that choice by September 25. This became apparent when athletes sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org where they were suddenly offered the opportunity to move their slot. Ironman also sent a document with which you could qualify for a NIE, a “National Interest Exception,” which would allow you to request an exception from the U.S. Embassy to obtain a travel visa to the United States. In Germany, at least, athletes heard right away that participating in the Ironman World Championships is not a valid reason to get a NIE.