Many key foundational moments in the development of modern triathlon took place on the Gold Coast. From the first triathlon held on the Gold Coast in April 1980 to the up coming 2018 Triathlon World Championships, the Gold Coast’s triathlon history is interlinked with the broader history of the sport of triathlon as well as the growth and evolution of the Gold Coast itself. It is hardly accidental that the 2018 world championships represents the Gold Coast’s third such event (with world championships staged on the Gold Coast in 1991 and 2009). The Gold Coast has also produced triathletes, triathlon coaches and race directors with international reputations.
Study of the area’s triathlon history allows for broader examination of the Gold Coast as a location that regularly hosts international sporting events and has the potential to bring together triathlon and local sporting narratives. The narratives around the 1991 world championship relate to the campaign to secure the inclusion of triathlon in the summer Olympic Games program for Sydney 2000, triathlon’s Olympic debut. It also links to a local sporting history that includes the Gold Coast marathon, and relates to Japanese investment in both Gold Coast real estate and sporting life in the 1990s. It is hoped that this open access interactive, digital archival case study of the Gold Coast’s triathlon history will help to demonstrate the richness of the Australian triathlon landscape as well as the Gold Coast sporting landscape and engage the public in recreating the narratives of this intertwined sporting history.