USA Triathlon announced that elite triathlete and World Triathlon photographer Tommy Zaferes has been hired as talent ID coordinator, a member of USA Triathlon’s High Performance staff. Zaferes, husband of two-time Olympic medalist Katie Zaferes, will lead and develop programs to identify, recruit, asses and support USA Triathlon’s future Olympic and Paralympic medalists.
“USA Triathlon is proud to bring Tommy onto our staff,” said Joe Maloy, USA Triathlon’s High Performance Development Manager. “Tommy has a skillset and background that is relatable to the prospective and up-and-coming elite triathlete — and as a skilled photographer and digital marketer, he’s a great storyteller, too. With a background as an Olympic Trials-level swimmer who transitioned to triathlon, Tommy knows the intricacies and nuances of the sport and can lend authenticity when recruiting athletes into the USA Triathlon High Performance pipeline. I know Tommy is ready to hit the ground running as we build off the tremendous success of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Zaferes comes to USA Triathlon with a diverse background in all areas of the sport. Following a competitive swimming career that included an appearance at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, Zaferes transitioned to elite triathlon in 2010, earning his pro card through an Elite Development Race (EDR). For four years, Zaferes consistently competed on the ITU (now World Triathlon) World Cup and Pan American Cup circuit before transitioning to a career as a triathlon photographer and digital marketer. Zaferes currently travels around the world, photographing World Triathlon Championship Series and Super League Triathlon events. He will continue his role with World Triathlon.
In his new USA Triathlon role, Zaferes will contribute to USA Triathlon's High Performance efforts to adopt innovative recruitment strategies to identify both able-bodied and para-athletes into the elite development pipeline. He joins USA Triathlon’s High Performance staff following a record-setting showing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and throughout the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) events.
The U.S. led all countries with seven combined Olympic and Paralympic triathlon medals in Tokyo with three gold, three silver and one bronze, and won the Paralympic triathlon medal count with five. The U.S. also became the first country to finish a WTCS with five women and three men in the top 12 of their respective overall rankings, and the five female athletes ranked in the top 12 are the most by one country in series history.
"This opportunity came along at the perfect time — it was truly meant to be. I’m stoked to be able to utilize my experience of having lived the life of a professional triathlete over the last 12 years, and the knowledge accrued by training, racing, photographing, and interviewing the best triathletes and paratriathletes in the world,” Zaferes said. “I look forward to seeking out the future of USA Triathlon high performance, and showcasing the amazing opportunities triathlon and paratriathlon have to offer. The pressure is on to help find and mentor the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians, but I’m up for the task.”
Among the programs Zaferes will oversee includes the USA Triathlon Collegiate Program (CRP) which identifies and recruits top-level NCAA runners and swimmers to elite triathlon. Maloy has managed the CRP since July 2019.
Founded in 2009 by 2004 U.S. Olympian Barb Lindquist, the CRP fast-tracks the talent transfer of single-sport collegiate runners and swimmers who have the potential to be elite triathletes. Through active recruitment, assessment, mentorship, support and a full-time coaching environment within an elite squad, USA Triathlon has increased the quality and quantity of the next generation of potential Olympic medalists.
Many of USA Triathlon’s most successful World Triathlon and Olympic athletes, both past and present, are CRP recruits — including Katie Zaferes, who earned bronze in the women’s individual race at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and silver as part of the U.S. Mixed Relay team; 2016 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen; 2020 Olympians Summer Rappaport and Morgan Pearson and fellow U.S. National Team members Kirsten Kasper and Matt McElroy.
To learn more about the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program, visit usatriathlon.org/crp.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).