Scott Tinley’s Induction Speech – 2012 USAT Hall of Fame

And now, I think he’s already had his
introduction by many of us. With nearly 100 career multi
sport victories, Scott Tinley reigns as one of the winningest triathletes of all
time. After discovering the sport as a student
at San Diego State in 1976, Tinley became a two-time ironman world
champion winner, topping the podium in 1982 and 1985. He’s a member of the triathlete and Ironman
Halls of fame. Tinley is a pioneer in off road triathlon, and continues to co-own manage the
longest-running off road triathlon in the world Scott Tinley’s adventures in San Luis Obispo, California. Tinley recently received his doctorate, Dr.
Tinley from Claremont Mckenna College, and continues to stay close to professional sports as a researcher, college lecturer. Especially on the subject of
athelete retirement and larger issues of life transition and change. He remains active in the sport as a
marketing consultant columnist writer, and participant. He resides in Delmar in Gaviota, California with his wife Virginia and two children Tory and Dan, Scott Tinley. So if you guys have been hanging around, before you have to get home thinking like “what is this guy who historically as part of been the poster child for dork athletes dot com, making fool of himself every time in that position. I sort of requited to somebody else, what a great night. knees and stuff. It’s an incredible honor to be the last person selected allowed to be part of this incredible group, and certainly I appreciate it, and there are
many many people who should be thanked for their participation in all that we
have done. Although we have contributed all that we
have perhaps offered to other people for the past 35 years, but I would also suggest that what we did or tried to do was also honored perhaps tonight is a part of a era, part of an ideal that has something to do with asking why not? why not try something different? why not look at the way sport is? the way we embody our
physical experience in our sporting opportunities beyond
what is the status quo? So, my thoughts tonight, try and keep
it somewhat short, start the 3rd week of August 1976 here in San Diego, 3 things happened to me
that existed less than a mile from where we sit
tonight. The first one was that i followed my slightly older sister Laurie, to San Diego State University. And because she worked for the financial
aids department she says, if you want to go to college (because we couldn’t afford to go to college) you need to fill out your own tax return when you’re 15 years old, which i did. The state of California allowed me to come to San Diego on a financial aid
scholarship at 2000 dollars per year. So thank you very much LT for that, and we got an apartment, maybe two wood and a five iron from here. From the roof our apartment we could see Fiesta Island, the birthplace of triathlon, but we didn’t know af that time that that was the birthplace of triathlon. When 19 years old you’d
not worry about creating history, we’re worried about something else. The second thing that happened as a part
of that financial aid a work was that I was offered a work-study
position, and that I had opportunities to work for the State
of California, and the only thing that allowed me to
work west of i 5 was working for a place called the
Mission Bay Aquatic Center which is about maybe a three 3 wood, four iron and wedge from here. The only position available though was
a janitorial assistant, so then alright, I’m going to go in there and this is the Disneyland of student occupations. I’m going to go in there, and I’m going to be the best janitor. I’m going to clean toilets and bag chicks, that was my goal. I walked into the 3rd week of August 1976, I walked into this place thinking “this is going to be alright, i’ll be a janitor for a few weeks, months. The first person i see is the former Miss Virginia Lyne Tinley she’s blonde, she’s beautiful way out of my class “I’m like, alright damn” Suddenly all I can think about is how do I move myself up in the world? How do I become a boat scrubber or a dork master, or assistant sailing instructor? So that at some point in the near future I’m going to be able to ask her out on a date. I took two years, and our first date we went to snuck into a small
little jacuzzi at a hotel not that far from here be at 4 wood, 2 iron, wedge we stuck in the Jacuzzi, she wanted to take me home that night. But as a good cat’ as a good Catholic boy I had a long-term plan. The other thing that happened in that third week of
August 1976 was that i saw my first triathlon. And i happen to have an old steel beach
cruiser and it was an all day fixie, only because I’d allow the rust to weld all of the gears together so that I had one
particular gear. And it was 12.5 miles
around Mission Bay, it took most of the afternoon, but part of that afternoon August 1976, I experienced my first triathlon, bunch of people coming out of the water.
Some of them are running along the base, swimming, jumping on the bikes and I turned to some guy “what is this some kind of a baptismal revival or something?” “No it’s a triathlon” And I thought “Cool! how do I sign up for this stuff?” Maybe next year, hang on be there, do something interesting, do something provocative. So the very next year and it took a year, I entered my first triathlon. But beyond that what exist for all of us is the opportunity to
perhaps think that Mark, Dave, Scott, Mike Pigg right? all of us. Ethel, Sally we did something different. We tested the ideas of the status quo. We said why not? Why not? A lot of stories have surveyed bound to the round about of a big four, and for me there comes down to a few sort of significant ideas. 1983 I think (memory is a little bit fuzz) 80 miles into the bike, Mark had some bike problems so he says, I come on Scott Molina, Scott Molina looks at me I catch up them and he says “you could win this race.” Who is this guy who’s telling me I could win this race? As if he’s transferring a kind of power to me I thought “that’s amazing.” right? I like this guy. Off course I didn’t win the race, Dave beat by 33 seconds, ***hole! (laughs) Mark Allen 1984 he said some other physiological
problems. Dave’s several zip codes away, we’re not going to catch Dave I catch Mark on the run for 2nd place, he says “go out there and get as close as you can
because it matters” it matters. I looked and I go, okay I’ll do what I can, and that stuck with me. 1985 I’m going to win that 1985 iron man because nobody else shows up. These guys are smarter than I am, it’s the ultimate cherry pick in the sport. I’m on, I got 20 min lead on the run, i’m throwing a football with the camera crew, and there’s a guy in the back of the camera van saying “focus! focus!” You can break the course record of Steve Scott, the king of corn, the cottage cheese cleansing man. I’m thinking like “dude I’m having fun,I’m not worried about cleaning my cottage cheese or breaking course record,” But he knows that if I break the course record, it’s going to up the empty for all of us, It’s going to push things out there. We are going to ask that question “why not?, why not?” The first winner of the inaugural modern triathlon September 25th 1974, Dr Bill Phillips 40 years old, he had an office in San Diego State right next to the office that I now
possess luckily at San Diego State. Sometime in the late 70’s I asked him I go “why triathlons?” he says “hey it’s something hard, but it’s meaningful, do what you can.” I never forgot that. May 1979 after the original iron man, Tom Warren wins the iron man, big spread 6,342 words (i know that because i looked it up) He wins the iron man in Hawaii, he comes by my house in Pacific Beach. He leaves the magazine on the cover
(excuse me on the porch) with a note on the front “dude try this, it’s fun you might enjoy it, hard but meaningful” right? there’s a connection. Outside this hotel room there’s a small
little pool it’s 19 1/2 yards. It takes
90 and a quarter links to equal 1 mile. I know that because when I used to sneak out of my work at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center maybe a 2 wood, 4 iron wedge from here. It was the first time I
actually swim a mile without stopping, and at one point security guard came up to me and he says “are you a guest here?” and in my honesty i said “i’m sorry, i’m actually looking at investing in this hotel, and
i’d like to… i’m thinking about building a large project with multiple
pools you know? I could use a good security guard” and he said “dude, just at least keep the beer cans off of the deck.” So, in any case all of these things have a kind of
connection. 1980-ish, I’m living with my brother Jeff, perhaps one of the most underrated
triathletes in the history of sports finishes 3rd in the iron man, twice, maybe 3 times, it couldn’t have been a lot more. He chose others aspects in life, or other directions. At that time I’m working as a paramedic, by night I’m putting needles in people, by day I’m running on the beach. What I remember most about that period was riding our bikes up and down the
coast with our friend Steve Perez, those future is all wide open. Anything can happen, why not? At one point after our first commercial triathlon, where I think we we’re
awarded 180 dollars for 2nd place. My brother-in-law Big John, who has built a huge business out
of working 17 hours a week. he goes “look” that’s his 17 hours a day, hat’s now. He says “do you know how many people would love to have your job?” that is a lesson that was never been
lost. So I think that we appreciate these
kinds of things, and anytime these individuals are Dave Scott. I feel proud to be mentioned in the same breath as them, as my brother Jeff and other people. They were the rock that broke my self
against and certainly my wife Virginia whose amazing. Last week while off triathlon, our son Dane comes out of the water 3 seconds behind me. And he says “next year, I own you.” Not with our little fight little brother, you’re going down. Our daughter Tori, amazing she’s got it all going on. Beautiful, fit, active i love her to death, so Cal don’t mess is up bro. (laughs) Look triathlon is not a individual
sport. There are so many people, there’s so many aspects of the sport that have
to do with our collective, right? All of us are somehow connected to what
we accomplish, and into these individuals my brothers,by friends you know
amazing people that… again I’m so proud to be connected within
all of you. Thank you so much for the
opportunity to be a part of this, and good luck to all of you, and especially if I
could mention my good friends Jim Riley, and Jeffrey Issaquah, and their wives for our participation in
the Tinley corporation. These are just small things we think, but
as we come together on a night like tonight we think “you-know-what there’s a
lot of people that may be okay” So thanks a lot. This is pretty momentous. This is the first time in how long? 20 plus years that the big 4 is together. (So, why don’t you put that right in the middle.) The Big 4! what do you say?


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