As I see it, my first reaction is that races are going to get harder to get into, they will probably become more expensive as well. It's a sellers market. Creating more races is easier said than done. As others stated, it's not clear at all how IM would even start the discussion of getting into the Olympics. All Olympic sports have national governing bodies that have to sponsor and vote for included sports.
While Les McDonald is still at the helm of the ITU, another year?, he'd rather hell freeze over I suspect than allow IM to get into the Olympics. At least for the British Triathlon Federation and I also suspect, US Triathlon, they have many reasons not to endorse or support IM races in the Olympics. Even if IM were in the Olympics, they wouldn't be called IM races, since IM is a branded, trademarked name and the IoC are hardly likely to pay WEH for use of the name and allwoing it to be used for free would set an interesting precedent.
So it's not clear how authentic the following statements are, but they make an interesting read.
world.endurance.holdings Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:30 pm
As some of you are aware, on the 5th of September World Endurance Holdings purchased Ironman corp. Rough plans include;
Both World Championship Events will be relocated as plans have been underway for some time.
Ironman will remain in Hawaii, however be moved to the island of Maui where numbers can be increased beyond the current limit faced. This in turn will allow more qualifying positions for the World Championship races.
Race entry fees will be set by the individual race directors. Some may choose to increase and some may even decrease.
The prize purse will be increased however only pay the top 8 finishers.
A Grand Slam of Ironman's will be created. These events will carry a large prize purse than the regular Ironman events.
Telecasting of more events via the internet and Grand Slam via cable networks. There are no plans to broadcast any 70.3 Ironman events other than the World Championships.
The top 8 male and female finishers each year in the Grand Slam will become "Sponsored athletes" to all Grand Slams which will include the World Championships in Maui.
Plans to have Ironman in the 2016 Olympics will also be a major goal for World Endurance Holdings.
In lifting the profile of Ironman events, it could also be seen as a plan to entice the more famous to compete. These people are obviously still to be identified.
Issuing several more race licences for both Ironman and Ironman 70.3.
The UK & North America being the obvious selections for these new events.
The IronGirl series will also be expanded from it current test events on mainland USA.