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Former Ironman champ Sebastian Kienle matching donations to the Kona Community Aquatic Center

Updated: 
October 11, 2017 - 8:29pm

KAILUA-KONA — Sebastian Kienle has had some great moments on the Big Island, most notably his 2014 Ironman World Championship victory.

Now, the German professional triathlete is looking to give back to the island and community he has grown to love.

Kienle — in partnership with the non-profit More Than Sport — is raising money to go toward helping improve and maintain the Kona Community Aquatic Center (KCAC).

“For me this is a very important and personal thing,” Kienle said in a Facebook video. “I can feel the good energy here on the island. It is a little bit different than most regions and countries I have been travelling to. (KCAC) is for free for all of us athletes. It’s basically maintained and everyone is paid by tax dollars. During the past few years I have realized that it could use a little bit of a boost.”

While the Big Island will be out in support of the 29 local competitors in this year’s Ironman World Championship, they will have reason to cheer on Kienle as their favorite pro. If he wins the race, Kienle will match the donations from the More Than Sport site dollar for dollar. If he finishes runner-up, he’ll match 50 percent, and 33 percent if he finishes with the bronze. Even if he finishes anywhere outside of the top three, he will match 25 percent.

According to the More Than Sport website, the funds will be used to purchase new equipment, flags, lane lines, improve youth programs and more.

“This is not only about maintaining the pool, but it’s also about the relationship between us athletes, who are guests here on this beautiful island, and the people who live here,” Kienle said. “Live aloha and give something back to this awesome community so we are always welcome to have our race here and the people here can continue using this beautiful pool in the future.”

Donations are open until Tuesday at morethansport.org.

Wellington inducted into Ironman HOF

Chrissie Wellington has her hall pass.

The four-time world champion was inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame on Wednesday night in Kona.

“Once you decide to leave the sport as a professional athlete you think your days of being awarded accolades are over—I am truly humbled and excited to see my name featured among our sport’s greats, whom I have so much admiration and respect for,” Wellington said.

Within a year of turning professional, Wellington captured her first Ironman World Championship in her Kona debut in 2007, becoming Ironman first British athlete, male or female, to win the race. She would go on to win three additional titles in 2008, 2009 and 2011. She is one of only three women to win the world championship race three consecutive times. She also set the course record of 8:54:02 in 2009, which stood for five years.

Wellington, originally from Norfolk, England, carried an undefeated record, winning every full-distance Ironman triathlon she started during her professional career. She earned 10 career full-Ironman victories, as well as seven Ironman 70.3 wins. Wellington also still holds the women’s world record for fastest Ironman finishing time of 8:33:56, recorded in 2011 at Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa.

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