IRONMAN has announced the IRONMAN Hall of Fame Class of 2019: athletes Tim DeBoom and Michellie Jones, and IRONMAN contributors Kenneth Gasque and Jan War. The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on October 9 during race week at the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
“As we have spent this year celebrating all those who make up the IRONMAN `Ohana, it is fitting that we honour these four individuals who have been some of the most successful and influential members of our `ohana,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group.
“Tim, Kenneth, Michellie, and Jan, whether through their athletic accomplishments or their contributions to our sport, left an indelible mark on the world of triathlon and IRONMAN itself. Their induction into our Hall of Fame is our way of honouring what they have meant to us and the greater IRONMAN community.”
Tim DeBoom is a two-time IRONMAN World Champion and the last American to win the IRONMAN World Championship. DeBoom won in back-to-back years, claiming the title in 2002 after capturing an emotional victory in 2001, just a month after September 11. At the time of his victories, DeBoom was just the third male to ever repeat as IRONMAN World Champion, joining Dave Scott and Mark Allen.
In addition to his victories, DeBoom finished on the podium at the 1999 and 2000 IRONMAN World Championship triathlons. He was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2015 and is an accomplished triathlete beyond Kona, having won the 1999 IRONMAN New Zealand triathlon as well as the 2001 IRONMAN California triathlon.
Kenneth Gasque is a four-time IRONMAN World Championship finisher and the founder of the popular IRONMAN Lanzarote triathlon. Gasque was inspired by the similarities between Hawai`i and Lanzarote and believed the small volcanic island of Lanzarote was the perfect location to replicate the conditions for hosting an IRONMAN triathlon.
Gasque began serving as race director for IRONMAN Lanzarote in 1992 and remains honorary race director to this day – as IRONMAN Lanzarote boasts the title of being the second oldest IRONMAN event in Europe/Middle East/Asia (EMEA) region. Always one to care for the athletes and their experience, Gasque became well known for being at the finish line to greet and shake the hand of every single person who crossed the finish line even if it meant staying until after 1 a.m.
Michellie Jones is one of the most accomplished triathletes of all-time leaving an undeniable mark on IRONMAN as the first Australian woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship. As a two-time ITU Triathlon World Champion (1992 and 1993) and XTERRA Triathlon World Champion (1996), Jones carried her success into the 2000 Olympic Games taking home a silver medal in triathlon. She continued to showcase her talent across all distances in 2005 with a win at the IRONMAN Florida triathlon and a second-place finish in her first appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship.
Jones followed this with a win at the 2006 IRONMAN Arizona triathlon and ultimately her pinnacle moment with IRONMAN winning the 2006 IRONMAN World Championship title paving the way for future Australians. Not one to leave a stone unturned, she returned to the Olympics again in 2016 when she served as a guide for paratriathlete Katie Kelly, taking home the gold medal. Jones has been inducted into both the ITU Hall of Fame and the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame and remains active in the sport of triathlon as an IRONMAN U Certified Coach through her Giddy Up coaching group and serving as the head coach for the University of California San Diego Triton triathlon team.
Jan War is one of the leading foundational members of the IRONMAN `Ohana. War has been an IRONMAN volunteer for nearly 40 years and has been the Swim Director for the IRONMAN World Championship for 32 years. Originally raised on the Island of O`ahu before moving to Kailua-Kona in 1975, War has helped showcase and shape the importance of volunteerism through IRONMAN as he has helped oversee the approximately 300+ swim course volunteers who assist annually with the IRONMAN World Championship.
IRONMAN notes that without Jan War’s dedication and willingness to give to others, IRONMAN and the IRONMAN World Championship would not be what they are today.
Founded in 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame was created to honour individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous endurance race series. DeBoom, Gasque, Jones, and War join a prestigious list of individuals honoured for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN both inside and outside of competition.
“As a professional athlete, it is really hard to see out of the moment and appreciate the accomplishments along the way,” said Tim DeBoom. “I was always just focused on the next event. Now, having been removed from racing for quite a while, I am extremely proud of my career. Being inducted into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and seeing my name next to all the other amazing members is an incredible honor and something I will cherish forever.”
Michellie Jones said “I didn’t think IRONMAN was ever going to be a path I would follow as it terrified and intimidated me. But destiny led me to one of the highlights of my career and now to be headed into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame in October I am extremely honoured and extremely privileged to what my sport has bestowed on me. I am truly grateful to all those that made my journey possible.”
IRONMAN Hall of Fame:
1993 Dave Scott
1994 Julie Moss
1995 Scott Tinley
1996 Paula Newby-Fraser
1997 Mark Allen
1998 John and Judy Collins
1999 Valerie Silk
2000 Tom Warren
2001 Dr. Bob Laird
2002 Bob Babbitt
2003 John MacLean / Gordon Haller / Lyn Lemaire
2004 Greg Welch
2005 Jim Maclaren
2008 Team Hoyt – Rick and Dick Hoyt
2011 Mike Reilly
2012 Graham Fraser
2013 Peter Henning
2014 Georg Hochegger / Helge Lorenz / Stefan Petschnig
2015 Lori Bowden / Heather Fuhr
2016 Lew Friedland / Peter Reid
2017 Chrissie Wellington
2018 Ken Baggs / Erin Baker / Rocky Campbell / Scott Molina
2019 Tim DeBoom / Kenneth Gasque / Michellie Jones / Jan War