2022 BOA USA Triathlon Foundation Gala and Hall of Fame Induction

You're invited to join USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation for a “Celebration of Sport” – an Evening to Encourage, Inspire and Ignite Benefiting the USA Triathlon Foundation.

You're invited to join USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation for a “Celebration of Sport” – an Evening to Encourage, Inspire and Ignite Benefiting the USA Triathlon Foundation.

This must-attend evening will celebrate the sport of triathlon, our success in Tokyo and American pride. It will also feaure highlights of the season, inspirational stories and culminate with USA Triathlon Hall of Fame inductions for Gwen Jorgensen, Laura Bennett, Lesley Cens-McDowell and Robert Plant. 

Mix and mingle with the triathlon community, icons of the sport and a few special guests of the evening. 

Date: Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022

Location: Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Time: 6:15 - 9:30 p.m. CDT 

Attire: Cocktail attire

Tickets: Individual tickets are $125 and tables for 10 individuals are available for $1,000. Limited VIP tables and sponsorship opportunities are available on a first come, first served basis. Please reach out Gabe Cagwin, President of the USA Triathlon Foundation and USA Triathlon Chief Advancement Officer, at gabe.cagwin@usatriathlon.org for more information.

 

What does the night include?

  • VIP meet-and-greet happy hour reception
  • Autographs from Hall of Fame honorees and icons of the sport
  • Red carpet with photographer
  • Dinner preceding the awards
  • Silent auction benefitting the USA Triathlon Foundation 

 

 Gwen Jorgensen

Gwen Jorgensen — Elite Athlete (Boulder, Colo.)

A Wisconsin native and an All-American track and cross-country runner for the University of Wisconsin, Jorgensen, 35, won the USA’s first Olympic gold medal in triathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, capping a stellar — and unlikely — triathlon career.

After graduating with her accounting master’s degree and CPA license, Jorgensen hadn’t planned to pursue sport professionally and was working as an accountant at Ernst & Young in Milwaukee when she received a phone call from Barb Lindquist, founder of USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, who noticed her running and swimming talent and urged her to compete in triathlon at the elite level.

After learning the basics of the sport, Jorgensen earned her elite license in her first competitive triathlon. She went on to collect three podiums in her debut professional season — earning the title of 2010 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year — and ultimately punched her ticket to the Olympic Games London 2012.

She’d then go on to become the first woman to win a world title after a perfect undefeated World Triathlon Series season, to hold onto a 12-race World Triathlon Series winning streak, and to win the Olympic test event followed by a gold medal the following year at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Since she won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Jorgensen has captivated fans of running, and in 2017, she announced she was pursuing a bold new goal: win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon.

 Laura Bennett

Laura Bennett — Elite Athlete (Boulder, Colo.)

A two-time Olympian, Bennett, 46, took fourth at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and finished 17th at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A North Palm Beach, Florida, native, Bennett began competing in triathlons when she was 10 years old, and in 1994, was named USA Triathlon’s Junior Triathlete of the Year.

She earned the silver medal at the 2003 World Triathlon Championships and a bronze in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Bennett was the U.S. team’s second alternate for the first Olympic Games triathlon in 2000 in Sydney and was the first alternate for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Bennett also competed on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit, winning her IRONMAN 70.3 debut in 2009 in Augusta, Georgia, and followed that with a fifth place at the 2009 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Bennett was named USA Triathlon’s Elite Female Triathlete of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Today, she and her husband, Australian Olympic triathlete Greg Bennett, own and operate Bennett Endurance High Performance, based in Boulder, Colo.

Lesley Cens-McDowell (photo courtesy of Tony Svensson, Bakke-Svensson/IRONMAN)

Lesley Cens-McDowell — Age Group Athlete (West Chester, Pa./Holualoa, Hawaii)

A longtime age-group triathlete, Cens-McDowell, 75, has won multiple triathlon races of all distances, including the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, IRONMAN 70.3, Olympic distance, and sprint triathlons.

She won 11 first place age group titles at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, and three second place finishes in 17 races there. She set two age group records in Kona and a personal best was 10:58 in the 45-49 age group. In one of these races, a stress fracture of her fibula developed into a complete fracture halfway through the marathon and she still finished in second place.

Lesley won seven national titles at USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, and she was chosen as USA Triathlon Masters Triathlete of the Year in 1991, earning a trip to Japan to compete there on behalf of the U.S.

She qualified for four Olympic distance World Championships and competed in three: Avignon, France; Orlando, Fla.; and Manchester, England. She won a place on the podium in all three races.

Lesley came to triathlon from a background of tennis, Grand Prix motorcycle racing and then running. She was featured in Sports Illustrated: “Faces in the Crowd” in two separate issues. She now splits her time between homes in West Chester, Pa., and Holualoa, Hawaii, just upslope from Kona on the Big Island.

 Robert Plant

Robert Plant — Age Group Athlete (Woodside, Calif.)

Plant, 78, has won several USA Triathlon age group national titles including five Olympic-distance triathlon titles, two standard-distance duathlon (run-bike-run) titles and two aquathlon (swim-run) titles.

He won Competitor Magazine’s Master’s Triathlete of the Year Award in 1998. For years, Plant has represented the age group Team USA at World Triathlon world championship events and is one of the most decorated age group multisport athletes in the world, having won more world medals across all the on-road multisport disciplines than any other athlete.

Plant has also earned six age group podium finishes at the IRONMAN World Championships.

About the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame

The USA Triathlon Hall of Fame serves to recognize, honor and commemorate those individuals, groups and entities that have demonstrated excellence in every aspect of multisport and inspire others to elevate their performance, participation and involvement in multisport in their communities.

Founded in 2008, the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame has recognized the best performances and contributions in the sport’s history, dating back to its origins in 1974.

About the USA Triathlon Foundation

The USA Triathlon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the charitable arm of USA Triathlon. With its mission to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run, the Foundation serves to generate a greater impact on the multisport community through charitable giveback and grants that advance the Foundation’s three pillars: (1) Encourage youth participation; (2) Inspire adaptive athletes; and (3) Ignite Olympic/Paralympic dreams. Since the Foundation was established in 2014, it has provided millions of dollars in grants to organizations and individuals in pursuit of its mission and pillars to create a healthier United States through triathlon.