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9:30 PM EST, December 7, 2012
TriColumbia – the Mid-Atlantic’s premier endurance event production company –announced that founder, CEO, and race director Robert “Vigo” Vigorito will retire after three decades with the organization.
“My retirement is bittersweet because TriColumbia has been such a wonderful and profound part of my life along with Neuroscience,” said Vigorito in a press release. “I am extremely proud of what we have built. Now I look forward to having the opportunity to spend more time with family and to pursue and continue other related passions, including USAT Governance and working with challenged triathletes and special charitable causes (such as) the Blazeman Foundation and children directly - to help them and all to achieve their goals and dreams through a healthy lifestyle.”
Vigorito, a six-time Hawaii Ironman finisher, founded the Columbia Triathlon Association, later renamed TriColumbia in 1986, with a vision to produce endurance events at the highest levels of challenge, safety and integrity. In addition, Vigorito wanted to make a lasting and rewarding experience for endurance athletes and their community.
In turn, TriColumbia grew to become a leader in endurance event production across the country. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1988, four years after the inaugural Columbia Triathlon was launched, TriColumbia brought the triathlon movement to the Mid-Atlantic region, and to the East Coast of the U.S.
In the early 1980’s, Vigorito assisted in the establishment of a governing body for triathlon, known then as Tri-Fed USA, a precursor to today’s USA Triathlon, the current sanctioning authority for more than 4,000 endurance events nationwide.
In 2001, he was recognized by the International Olympic Committee for a remarkable contribution as a “volunteer to the development of sport and Olympian and to the promotion of friendship and solidarity among peoples.” Triathlon became an Olympic sport in 2000 at the Sydney Australia Summer Games. In 1993, Vigorito co-founded the current USA Triathlon Mid-Atlantic Region, and today still serves as the Mid-Atlantic Council Chair.
“Vigo is a legend in the multisport world, and we are very happy for him as he enters into yet another phase of his life,” said Rudy Gil, Chair of TriColumbia’s Board of Directors. “A presence like Robert Vigorito cannot be replaced, but we look forward to continuing the history and growth of TriColumbia in the years ahead.”
Vigorito will be honored by TriColumbia on May 19, 2013, prior to the 30th running of the Columbia Triathlon, one of the longest running, most challenging and widely acclaimed triathlons in the country.