Tokyo Paralympic Games hopefuls to compete in Pleasant Prairie

The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon will take place on Sunday, June 27.
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 12:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On Sunday, June 27, the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon will bring athletes from all over to compete in Wisconsin. Pleasant Prairie will also play host to the 2021 Americas Triathlon Para Championships, which will serve as a World Triathlon Paralympic Games country qualifying event.

According to a post on Team USA’s website, “Strong performances in Pleasant Prairie will be taken into account by USA Triathlon’s Games Selection Committee.”

Paralympic hopefuls will come from the United States, but also as far as Great Britain and Bahrain, according to Ryan Griessmeyer. Griessmeyer is the president of Race Day Events, an event production company based out of Fitchburg that specializes in endurance events.

“About 15 different countries are going to be represented,” Griessmeyer said. The athletes are hoping to gain points towards qualifying for the Tokyo games this summer.

Because it’s an international race and there will be athletes coming from different countries, there will be COVID-19 protocols in place, including testing, mask wearing, and health screening.

Griessmeyer said their team has been planning the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon since October of last year. In February, they learned they could also host the Paralympic qualifying race.

“To be the sanctioned qualifier, we had to put in an application. It was between us and three other races and they gratefully selected our race,” he said. “At that point then it has to be a team that can actually produce the event at a very high quality level, a timing team that can time the race and make sure we have very accurate results and submit that, because it’s obviously a very high level, important race for these people trying to qualify for the Olympics.”

Behind the scenes, Griessmeyer said about 70 people have been working to put on the event, one of their largest. They are anticipating about 1,100 athletes to participate.

“Just seeing everyone come out, we’re seeing much bigger attendance than we anticipated, and to be able to put on a race of this caliber again is just so exciting for everyone involved,” he said.

For more information about the event, check out the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon page.

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