World Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductee

Karen Smyers

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Karen Smyers
United States
Reasons for Nomination

Athletic Performance: ITU Career: 1989-2001
2 x ITU World Champion (1990, 1995)
ITU Long Distance World Champion (1996)
7 x ITU World Cup wins
ITU World Cup Series winner (1991)
Pan American Games Champion (1995)

Other: Ironman World Champion 1995
Inducted in USAT Hall of Fame in 2009


Karen Smyers is a USA Triathlon legend, who retains an unquenchable passion for her sport.  Competitively, Smyers won the ITU Olympic distance World Championship in both 1990 and 1995, and completed an historic double by taking the Ironman World Championship in that same year of 1995. Smyers also won the 1996 ITU Long Course World Championship in Muncie, Indiana, took seven World Cup wins, Pan American gold in 1995 and 1999, and won the ITU Triathlon World Cup overall title in 1991. 

Smyers is equally well known for her survival instincts.  She came back from a sliced hamstring (suffered while changing a storm window), suffered a collapsed lung and multiple broken bones when hit by an truck on a training ride, shook off a broken collarbone and multiple injuries in a 1999 race crash (which ended her 17-year streak of never dropping out of a race ), and also survived a bout with thyroid cancer in 1999. Now a mother of 2, she is described by ‘Slowtwitch’ as “gracious…, humble…the triathlon star most age groupers would like to have beer with…”

Source: Timothy Carlson - Slowtwitch 28/07/2014



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