Even if we were very surprised that the Super League seems to be already very popular for the amateur environment, is-it really for athletes? After the publication of our article What we learned from the Super League, a WTS athlete and member of a national team wanted to share his opinion with us. Since we believe in discussion, here is his opinion, which is as dissident as relevant.
Small reflexion on the Super League your articles and the comments saw below.
I personally think that the ITU must improve its production of diffusion, and that yes, we can think about innovations. I’m always enthusiastic for relays of different races (Tiszaujvaros, Kitzbuhel). I think there is place for variety and maybe a bit more of show on the world circuit. I don’t think I’m completely conservative of close-minded.
But there is a question we need to ask is why we do or like this sport. I do love Olympic distance races, I love ITU and I like races as they exist today, I guess. I think after 20 years of Olympism, triathlon acquired legitimacy and a true history behind. The essence of sport for me is performance but also a tradition and references. Mines are Gomez regularity, domination of the Brownlee, or also finish of Riederer or Docherty.
Our sport is beautiful and we do it while knowing this. We chose to practice it as it can exist today and fully invest ourselves in it. So what’s the point of an evolution if it’s made for the outside? I don’t want to change my sport for someone who watch it from his sofa. I don’t care to be incredible or boring to watch. Make our sport more visible and understandable but only evolve for the look is not. Make the performance more telegenic is not a way to develop the sport we love. Biathlon on TV might be cool but there really is 500 person that practice it in France. I don’t think this is suitable to evolve to become a product to consume between two other sports on a Sunday afternoon.
The Super League is nice, it’s an event potentially interesting but the real sport at stake is in WTS and, to my opinion, has to stay this way. Even if people think it’s too long and boring. Personally (and to push a bit further), I’m able to watch the whole OG marathon when a lot of people would think it’s not interesting. But we wouldn’t change it for a Spartan race anyway.
Also, choice that have been made are questioning. There is no feminine athlete. It’s, I think never seen before in triathlon and to me, a very bad initiative. They are forbidden to access to potential exposure or prize money, but also the male athletes not invited. After the Island House Triathlon and the one in Pékin, it’s a new type of “invitational” race that develop itself. Then, it’s not the sportive level that opens the participation, but also the image or even the network. It’s difficult today to have a career in athletics without money and I don’t think this perspective is interesting and a good news for triathlon.
I don’t want to be wet blanket but I think we shouldn’t get too excited too soon about the show and the strong communication of this new thing that the Super League is. But this leads to wonder about what do we want for our sport, what we could do better, and this is a good thing. Triathlon is an incredible sport, let’s make it even better.