IRONMAN has announced that athletes Natascha Badmann and Carlos Moleda will be inducted into the IRONMAN® Hall of Fame this year. A ceremony is planned for race week of the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN World Championship, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
“We have the great honor of being able to induct two athletes into our Hall of Fame that embody multiple levels of what IRONMAN can mean and represent. From excelling at the highest levels with numerous IRONMAN World Championships in their respective divisions, to ambassadors who carried the sport forward, opening doors along the way, Natascha and Carlos have meant a great deal not only to the IRONMAN community, but the entirety of triathlon,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Through their accomplishments, Natascha and Carlos have left an indelible mark on the sport and represent the best of what IRONMAN can be for those who dare to reach a start line, redefining what is possible. Our congratulations to these two incredibly deserving individuals, and our thanks to them for being great stewards of triathlon.”
Natascha Badmann has been selected to the IRONMAN Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She became the first European woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship in 1998. Badmann would go on to become a six-time IRONMAN World Champion, taking additional titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005. A native of Basel, Switzerland, Badmann has become a legend and icon in the sport. Winning her first IRONMAN World Championship at the age of 29, she went on to become one of only four women in history to win an IRONMAN World Championship title more than three times. Retiring from professional racing in 2016 at the age of 50, an astounding 20 years after her first IRONMAN World Championship event in Kona, Badmann produced unforgettable performances time and time again, including clawing back from a 10-minute deficit from Australian Michellie Jones (2019 IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee) to take her final title in 2005 by nearly two minutes; and posting the fastest bike split in the women’s field in 2012 (5:06:07) at the age of 45. Badmann lives in Switzerland with her husband, coach and nutritionist, Toni Hasler, and daughter Anastasia. She continues to work as a social worker. View Natascha’s inductee video here.
Carlos Moleda is a five-time IRONMAN World Champion in the handcycle division and a pioneer for the sport and handcycle racing. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Moleda moved to the United States at the age of 18 and joined the military, becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL. A Purple Heart recipient, Moleda was injured in the line of duty and was paralyzed in 1989. After an introduction to triathlon, Moleda broke barriers becoming the first handcycle athlete to break 11 hours at the 1998 IRONMAN World Championship. He would go on to win the handcycle division five times. He is a seven-time national champion and also won the Buffalo Springs Triathlon (now IRONMAN 70.3 Lubbock) twice. Moleda has helped to develop rules for paratriathlon events, summited Mount Kilimanjaro and completed Race Across America in 8 days, 9 hours on a four-person handcycle relay team. Moleda now serves as a spokesman for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and uses his expertise and motivational skills to teach younger kids with disabilities how to ride handcycles. View Carlos’s inductee video here.
Founded in 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous triathlon race series. Badmann and Moleda join a prestigious list of remarkable individuals honored for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN both inside and outside of competition.
Athletes Natascha Badmann and Carlos Moleda react to their selections
“Thank you! This is very touching and brings back fantastic memories of my races during my whole career,” said Badmann. “One of my goals was to be a role model. Of course, I was the first European to win the IRONMAN in Hawai`i, but I also wanted to be a role model for the next generation and to show that IRONMAN is not only something to suffer, and something brutal and hard, it is also joy. It can bring you a healthy lifestyle, and to always show the good aspect of the race. This is what I love about the sport. It was not just going to do a race it was my whole lifestyle. It was what I lived for and loved.
“Thank you very much this is quite an impressive time right now. With all the Covid and not racing going on so it is an absolute honor to be invited to this. I really appreciate it.”
“This is incredible because you have no idea how much IRONMAN has been a part of my life,” said Moleda. “Really my sporting career didn’t start until I went to Hawai`i, and met David Bailey. It started that competition between us and from there it took the sport of paratriathlon to different level. It really showed people that when we are out there with the other athletes, the professionals, we are not disabled – we are just like everybody else. That is the gift that IRONMAN has given me and a lot of challenged athletes that have been there and experienced that. Thank you so much! This is incredible.”
For more information about the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and its members, visit www.ironman.com/hof