American Celeste Callahan, a pioneer in the women’s multisport community, was honoured on Monday with the first-ever International Triathlon Union (ITU) Women’s Committee Award of Excellence at the 25th ITU Congress in Auckland.
Callahan, from Denver, Colorado, was chosen for the prestigious honour by a rigorous selection process, which included a review phase by an independent award committee comprised of international experts on women and sport.
Callahan is a long-time leader within USA Triathlon (USAT) governance. She was appointed to the USA Triathlon Board of Directors in December 2004 representing the Rocky Mountain/Pacific Northwest/Midwest Region. She served as the General Secretary from July 2005 to 2010 and as the duathlon liaison to the Board. Callahan is a charter member of the USA Triathlon Women’s Committee and is a USA Triathlon Level II Coach and Level II Race Director.
Additionally, she is the founder and leader of the 500-member Team CWW, which focuses on introducing women to triathlon in Colorado. Coached by 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Susan Williams, Team CWW is the longest-running all-women’s triathlon team in the state.
“I consider this honour a lifetime achievement award, validating what I have long considered a very important mission in my life — using triathlon as a vehicle to help women help themselves to push back barriers that have confined them,” Callahan said.
“Such is the basis for Team CWW, which I founded in 1997 and has escorted over 5,000 women to the finish lines of their first triathlons and, thus, empowering 5,000 women. We often see their daughters follow suit, risking vulnerability in a safe environment to accomplish something difficult and realizing months later when they do their first race that anything is achievable.”
As a multisport competitor, Callahan is a frequent member of Team USA for the ITU duathlon and triathlon world championships and has won multiple world championships medals.