• The Tempo
  • Posts
  • Poor Water Quality Could Cancel Upcoming Olympic Test Event

Poor Water Quality Could Cancel Upcoming Olympic Test Event

And how you should adapt your training after 40

Good morning everyone,

Well, I battled hard at this weekend’s Professional Triathletes Organization US Open and finished up in 22nd place. It was an incredible opportunity as I don’t always find myself exiting the swim sandwiched between two Olympic gold medalists! It was a stellar weekend overall and I was even inspired to write my own takeaways from the event.

In today’s edition:

  • 💩 Water quality issues leave the upcoming Olympic Triathlon test event in doubt.

  • 🏆 Takeaways from a wildly successful USA Triathlon National Championships Festival.

  • 🏋️‍♀️ And how to adapt your training after 40.

Thanks for being here,

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Could Paris Water Testing Impact Olympic Qualifying Races?


Paris is known for croissants, French dining, wine… and poop?

What happened: The Open Water Swimming World Cup that was to take place in the Seine River in Paris was canceled this weekend because of pollution in the water, according to the Guardian. This could have major ramifications for the World Triathlon and Para Triathlon Test Event taking place on August 17-20.

  • Up until this point, water quality tests had shown it was safe for participants to swim in.

The culprit? Heavy rains, a record rainfall for the last 20 years, according to Endurance.biz, caused the overflows of waste to flow into the river. Kicks are dodgeable. Crap and waste products? Not so much.

What they’re saying: World Triathlon issued a statement, which you can read here. They pointed out that the Seine had “regularly achieved the levels required for healthy public swimming.” They remain confident that athletes can compete but plan to continue to monitor water quality.

  • Oh, and if it’s still bad? They plan to shift it to a duathlon, which will have major implications for racers, especially for countries using this race as a springboard for Olympic qualifying.

Zoom out: The Seine is known more for its romantic experiences and less for its swimming, which is normally banned. But a massive clean-up effort, worth $1.6 billion, has been considered successful to clean it up in preparation for the Olympics. The biggest change has been an underground system to store overflow water instead of it flowing into the river.

Yes, but: World Triathlon is dealing with its own Water-gate — pun intended. At least 57 athletes fell sick after racing in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Sunderland, according to the Guardian. While one environmental agency registered E Coli levels 39 times higher than the previous month, British Triathlon said their own test showed nothing wrong.

  • The implications have far-reaching consequences. Great Britain’s triathlon team says they’re worried about open water training anywhere in the U.K. and are training only in pools, according to Inews.

Tempo’s take: It would be a massive disappointment if the athletes do not compete in a triathlon at the Olympic test event. So much training time, effort, and resources are put into these events as this will be the peak of many athletes’ seasons. Not to mention it’s not a great look for Paris, or World Triathlon to have a marquee event canceled due to unsafe athlete conditions.

Fingers crossed the rain will hold off. But mother nature typically doesn’t care what we think!

Are you worried about these reports of unsafe swimming conditions?

Vote and then tell us what you think

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


🚴 Race for Chase: Over 600 kids competed at the Race4Chase Triathlon in Southington, CT this past weekend. The race is held in honor of Chase Michael-Anthony Kowalski, who loved triathlon and was tragically killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Funds raised from the race go to the CMAK Foundation which helps introduce young children to triathlon through YMCA summer camps. [NBC Connecticut]

🌲 Salem success: Ironman will continue to host a race in Salem, Oregon, through 2028. [Statesman Journal]

🏝️ Samoa struggles: The Samoa Triathlon Federation has been suspended from membership by the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committees due to issues around governance and an absentee president who has reportedly been living in New Zealand since 2020. [RNZ]

🙅‍♂️ Dumb driver: A Long Island triathlete was seriously injured after being hit by an SUV during the Smith Point Triathlon. The driver was charged with reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and driving without a court-ordered interlock device, all misdemeanors. [Patch]


Do You Need a Coach?

"The more experienced the runner, the more the coach exists to prevent the runner from doing dumb things, from getting in their own way." -Steve Magness

Can you be objective when looking at your life, your data, and your discomfort?

Finding a coach you trust means having someone who can silence your inner critic. It can help you unlock a better version of yourself, as an athlete and more.

Want to get better results from your training? Let’s go, together.


The number of years since the last time swimming competitions were conducted on the Seine in Paris, in the 1900 Olympics. Recreation swimming was banned in 1926 due to pollution issues. Due to cleanup efforts in preparation for the Olympics, the river will be reopened in 2025 for the public. [Global]


USA Triathlon Triumphs with Massive Multisport Weekend

USA Triathlon Foundation

Our editor shares his takeaways from the USA Triathlon National Championships Festival in Milwaukee.

I had the opportunity to compete in this past weekend’s Professional Triathletes Organization’s US Open in Milwaukee, USA. It was held in conjunction with USA Triathlon’s National Championships Festival, which saw over 8,000 athletes compete over three days of racing.

Here’s a few takeaways from the incredible weekend:

Milwaukee Is Awesome

I’d never been to Milwaukee before and had no idea what to expect. But it was the perfect place for this kind of event, big enough city to handle the influx of athletes, but not too big that it was just another event. Representatives from the local tourism board were clearly excited to have us there, and all the locals I talked to were incredibly kind and welcoming!

The city itself is a hidden gem. A great food scene, awesome coffee, friendly locals, and miles of beautiful waterfront running and cycling routes. I would be lying if I said I didn’t scope out Zillow while I was in town!

USA Triathlon Wins

From the outside looking in, it seemed as though the event ran incredibly smoothly and successfully. The many races seemed to take off without a hitch, even with the sheer number of participants. The energy throughout the weekend was contagious, and it was clear that athletes had an awesome experience overall.

  • Weekends like this are critical to an organization’s success, and USA Triathlon will come out of this with loads of positive momentum and sentiment.

Next year’s National Championship Festival is moving to Omaha, Nebraska, which is a great sporting community. However, the race venue appears to be slightly out of town, which contrasts to the centrally located race venue in downtown Milwaukee.

PTO’s Promising Partnership

This weekend also hosted the second edition of the Professional Triathletes Organization’s US Open. At the inaugural event in Dallas last year, the race was generally a success and the location was solid, but the atmosphere was lacking. This makes sense, given few fans want to come out during 100+°F temperatures 🥵

  • Partnering with USA Triathlon and having the Open alongside a massive participation event was a success for the PTO and I can easily say it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve competed in during my career. I could even hear the fans screaming at us while we were swimming.

It was also an incredible brand-building opportunity for the PTO. Having its athletes (as brand ambassadors) on the ground with thousands of triathletes allows for creating new fans and continued relationship-building with long-time supporters.

The amateur athletes witnessed some of the best pros in the world compete and then hang out with them afterward. I’m still not sure how Sam Long made it to the race with all the signatures and selfies he was providing!

  • If I was the head of World Triathlon, I would be on the phone with USAT’s CEO trying to find out a way to be a part of this weekend next year.


PTO Tour US Open

  • Men | 🥇 Jan Frodeno (GER) |🥈 Jason West (USA) | 🥉 Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)

  • Women | 🥇 Taylor Knibb (US) |🥈 Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) | 🥉 Paula Findlay (CAN)

Challenge London

  • Men | 🥇 Sam Laidlow (FRA) |🥈 James Teagle (GBR) | 🥉 Joshua Lewis (GBR)

  • Women | 🥇 Fenella Langridge (GBR) |🥈 Magda Nieuwoudt (RSA) | 🥉 Els Visser (NED)

Ironman 70.3 European Championships - Tallinn

  • Men | 🥇 Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) |🥈 Mike Phillips (NZL) | 🥉 Alessandro Fabian (ITA)

  • Women | 🥇 Laura Phillip (GER) |🥈 Imogen Simmonds (SUI) | 🥉 Emma Pallant-Browne

Ironman 70.3 Gydnia

  • Men | 🥇 |🥈 James Teagle (GBR) | 🥉 KriJoshua Lewis (GBR)

  • Women | 🥇 Fenella Langridge (GBR) |🥈 Magda Nieuwoudt (RSA) | 🥉 Els Visser (NED)


It’s been a cruel summer seeing ticket prices for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. But you need to calm down because this reel from Feisty Triathlon has a hilarious list of triathlon things that are cheaper than T-Swift tickets!


🏋️‍♀️ Fitness after 40: If you’re reading this newsletter, then the following article probably doesn’t apply to you too much. You’re already a very healthy person! But there are some really good insights in this piece from the NYT on adapting training after 40. [New York Times]

🦉 Legendary lessons: Waking up sick and still winning a race? Narrowly avoiding a race-destroying crash? Triathlon legend Mark Allen has seen it all. Check out this article - part of a series - where Mark discusses the most important triathlon lessons he’s learned. [Triathlete]

🥖 Grand racing: It’s a considerable effort to organize a French Grand Prix Triathlon. Check out this video and learn the surprising reasons why Stéphane Michel and her team decided to create this opportunity in Frejus. [FFTRI]

🎙️ Live from Milwaukee: An exclusive interview with the head of the PTO and of course, the classic off-the-cuff banter. Check out this fun episode of the ProTriNews podcast that was taped live at the legendary Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery in Milwaukee. [ProTriNews]


Can you name any of these athletes from the PTO US Open? Bonus points if you say what spot they placed.

Reply with the correct answer and your name and we’ll feature it in the newsletter!


What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Thanks for reading to the end. If you enjoy the Tempo, we have three things you can do to help our community grow:

  1. Share the Tempo with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Every person you refer will win prizes (coming soon!)

  2. Forward this email

  3. Follow us on Instagram

Join the conversation

or to participate.