Fernanda Keller, Kathleen McCartney To Be Inducted Into IRONMAN Hall Of Fame

Monday 08 July 2024

IRONMAN is pleased to announce that icons of the sport Kathleen McCartney and Fernanda Keller will be inducted into the IRONMAN® Hall of Fame this year. An induction ceremony is planned for race week of the men’s 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship® in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i and the two will also be celebrated during the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship women’s race in Nice, France.

  • Fernanda Keller became the first Brazilian woman to compete and podium at the IRONMAN World Championship and has completed the event an astounding 27 times, including 23 consecutive years among her approximately 100 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 finishes. Racing initially as a professional, Fernanda is the only triathlete in the world to place 3rd overall a total of six times, from 1994-2000, and add another 14 finishes in the women’s top ten in the years that followed. In addition, Fernanda has won IRONMAN Brazil a total of five times and been runner up four times. Keller has become a national sports icon in Brazil and remains one of the most successful triathletes to ever compete, and in 2015 was featured as one of Forbes’ most powerful women in sports. Keller’s impact on IRONMAN and female sport continues to today. An advocate for mental health through sport, Fernanda founded Instituto Fernanda Keller, which focuses on serving adolescents from low-income families through education and physical activity. It celebrates its 25th year of operation in 2024.
     
  • Kathleen McCartney earned the title of IRONMAN World Champion in her first appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship in 1982. As a 22-year-old college student attending UC Irvine, McCartney famously passed a crawling Julie Moss in the final 10 yards to capture the IRONMAN World Championship title and forever link the two in one of the most defining moments of IRONMAN’s history and for female sports. McCartney went on to complete six IRONMAN World Championship races as a professional from 1982 to 1988, inspiring global audiences with her performances. She has continued to have far reaching impact on the sport as a TriDot triathlon coach in addition to completing the IRONMAN World Championship again in 2012 for the 30thanniversary of her World Championship-winning race and in 2018 as part of celebrating 40 years of IRONMAN. Perhaps one of the most defining moments of her 46 years of contributions to the sport and IRONMAN came in 2017 and the IRONMAN World Championship that she did not finish. McCartney wasn’t racing for herself that year, as she shared a journey with close friend Mike Levine who was battling terminal pancreatic cancer. She helped to motivate Mike from an acceptance of his diagnosis, to fighting to live another day and make it to the start line of the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship, proving that sometimes it’s more about the journey to the start and self-belief than the result.

“It is with great pride that we will induct these two amazing women into our IRONMAN Hall of Fame,” said Scott DeRue, Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Kathleen and Fernanda have each represented the very best of IRONMAN, for decades both as competitors and ambassadors for the sport. Their contributions as professional athletes, age group athletes, mentors and spokespeople have demonstrated what it truly means to embrace and lift up the community of athletes, fans and women around them. We want to thank Fernanda and Kathleen for their lasting impact on our sport, and congratulate them on a truly deserved induction to the IRONMAN Hall of Fame. We look forward to celebrating with them later this year.”
 
Founded in 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who have performed at the highest levels of IRONMAN or made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous triathlon race series. McCartney and Keller join a prestigious list of remarkable athletes and contributors, honored for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN both inside and outside of competition.
 
Athletes McCartney and Keller react to their selections
 
Fernanda Keller:
“I have really dedicated to my life to this [sport] and promoting IRONMAN in Brazil,” said Keller. “I'm proud to be a woman because when I started doing IRONMAN, everybody told me that this was not for girls. I didn't see myself as a girl or a boy. That became for me something that I used as my power to show them that they were wrong. In a few years I became a national champion, and I did prove that they were wrong; that triathlon is not only for boys, but for all of us. Last year I celebrated my 60th birthday in Kona and I could see this legacy when I was riding along. This is such an honor for me.”
 
Kathleen McCartney:
"Thank you so much for this incredible honor! Ever since I crossed the finish line in 1982, I have embraced the IRONMAN lifestyle and have shared the enriching life lessons that IRONMAN has taught me with my loved ones and community. I'm so excited that now, as part of the IRONMAN Hall of Fame, I will have another new beginning with my IRONMAN ‘Ohana for more giving back, more mentoring, more encouragement and more opportunity to see dreams come true in the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN for generations to come."
 
IRONMAN Hall of Fame:

Year Inductee(s)
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
2021 Natascha Badmann / Carlos Moleda
2024 Fernanda Keller / Kathleen McCartney

 
For more information about the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and its members, visit www.ironman.com/hall-of-fame.
 
For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.

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