2016 Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen, two-time Olympian Laura Bennett and age-group athletes Lesley Cens-McDowell and Robert Plant were all named to the 11th class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
“We are so excited to add these iconic athletes to the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame,” said Steve Sutherland, Chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Executive Committee. “Gwen’s incredible rise to becoming an Olympic gold medalist is a story for the ages, Laura twice represented the U.S. at the Olympics and has given back to the multisport community following her professional career and Lesley and Robert’s age group performances throughout their long triathlon careers show us multisport is truly a lifelong sport. On top of their individual accomplishments, each of our inductees impart a love and passion for triathlon that continues to greatly influence the triathlon community.”
An all-American runner at the University of Wisconsin, Jorgensen was enlisted to the USA Triathlon national team through it’s collegiate recruitment program. Within a few years she’d qualified for the Olympics, and then went on to win the world championships in 2014 and 2015. She won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After the games in Rio Jorgensen turned her sights to running, trying to make it to the Olympics in that sport.
Finishing one spot off the podium at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Bennett would also compete at the London Games, where she finished 17th. The Florida native started triathlons at 10 and she would go on to become USA Triathlon’s junior triathlete of the year in 1994. She made the Olympic team in 2008 after being the first alternate for the 2000 and 2004 Games. Bennett won her first Ironman 70.3 Race in Augusta, Georgia, then took fifth at the 2009 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
A 12-time Ironman age-group champion, Cens-McDowell also won seven USA Triathlon age group national championships.
One of the most decorated age group MultiSport athletes in the world, having won more medals in triathlon and duathlon world titles than any other athlete. The 78-year-old has also made the podium six times in Kona.
You can read the full press release here.