Chelsea Sodaro becomes first American woman to win Ironman World Championship since 1996

  • Women’s swimmers splash through Kailua Bay Thursday morning as the sun rises over Hualalai in front of thousands of spectators at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

    Women’s swimmers splash through Kailua Bay Thursday morning in front of thousands of spectators at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

  • Above left: Sweden’s Lisa Norden leaps out of the water at Kailua Bay Thursday morning at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

    Above right: Venezuela’s Daniela Montiel lets out a yell as she begins the 112-mile bike ride at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

  • Sweden’s Lisa Norden leaps out of the water at Kailua Bay Thursday morning at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

  • Kailua-Kona’s Bree Wee begins the 112-mile trek to Hawi and back on her bike at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

  • Austria’s Thomas Fruhwirth glides down Queen Kaahumanu highway during Thursday’s Ironman World Championship. Fruhwirth won the Men HC division with a time of 8:15:39. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Mexico’s Viridiana Olmos smiles during the 112-mile bike at Thursday’s Ironman World Championship. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

  • Women’s swimmers splash through Kailua Bay Thursday morning in front of thousands of spectators at the 2022 Ironman World Championship. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

  • Thomas Fruhwirth is the first hand cyclist to cross the finish line. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Chelsea Sodaro crosses the finish line as the 2022 Ironman World Champion. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Chelsea Sodaro crosses the finish line as the 2022 Ironman World Champion. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Ironman World Champion Chelsea Sodaro is greeted by former champ Paula Newby-Fraser at the finish line. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Lucy Charles-Barclay crosses the finish line in second place. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Third place finisher Anne Haug collapses after crossing the finish line. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The top three women celebrate their success Thursday at the Ironman World Championship. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The top three women finishers toast their success Thursday at the Ironman World Championship. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA – For the first time in 26 years, an American woman has earned the title of Ironman World Champion.