Outside magazine, October 1996
This month, as chemicals heir John du Pont stands trial for the January 26 murder of former Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dave Schultz, at least one noteworthy detail from his bizarre past is likely to avoid Court TV scrutiny: his deep roots in the world of triathlon. Du Pont, who in the late eighties and early nineties funded a highly regarded multisport squad called Team
Foxcatcher, claims to have invented the sport as far back as the sixties (though, ironically, his version eschewed the running leg in favor of pistol shooting). Indeed, du Pont even spent $10,000 to commission a stamp, issued by the Caribbean island of Redonda and still considered valid postage in Antigua and Barbuda, declaring himself the "Father of Triathlon in the Americas."
How legitimate is his assertion? According to most observers, not very. "There are a few people with some claim to the title of Father," says Tim Yount, deputy director of U.S.A. Triathlon, "but he's definitely not one of them."