TrackTown, USA: The Championships are held every-other year since 1983. (We have been to eight of the 18 meetings.) The meet is always held on the odd year (so never during an Olympic year), but the scheduling has been turned upside down due to the global pandemic. TMI: another meeting is planned for 2023 in Hungary, and will then continue to 2025 in Tokyo. Please, pandemic, go away. These championships are the first time the event has been ever held in America. Unbelievable, right? As long as the meet is going to be held in the US, best have it in TrackTown, USA, right? Mother Nature has blessed Eugene with absolutely perfect weather. No clouds. Low 80s.
Fans were welcomed to the championships by Oregon Governor Kate Brown (far left), World Athletics chair Sir Sebastian Coe (at podium), and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (right). (The Vice President was in Eugene earlier... so no idea why she wasn't at the greeting tonight.) After the US national anthem was performed by a member of the military, there was a fly-over of two fighter jets. I knew it was coming, had my camera at the ready... but there were TWO jets, and they were SO LOUD, and the engines absolutely shook the entire University of Oregon campus. I shook and cowered like a dog on the 4th of July. As soon as the jets crossed the stadium, they shot straight up and should reach the moon before this blog is posted. Amazing.
As I have written before, I am not a sports reporter. Just a fan of the One True Sport, and we enjoy seeing so many old friends and Dave's college teammates during track events. I am here to report on the fun stuff and hopefully a few interesting (probably only to me) tidbits. I have posted links the results and how to watch the event below. Watch it! It's a three hour session in the evening, with great reporting and video. You will learn a lot, and if nothing else just be amazed at what the human body can do. And, my, what bodies!
Every championship has a mascot. They are usually lame. Oregon22 chose a Big Foot named Legend. I've never seen Big Foot (and neither has my forester father), so I can't tell you if they are florescent yellow or not. Legend lost a sprint race to a group of kidlets, and proceeded to do back flips and other gymnastic feats, which was fairly impressive as I can't imagine even walking in that hot/sweaty costume.
One of the marque events of the evening was Alyson Felix in the mixed (female/male) 4x400m relay. Maybe the final race of her career? (Rumor says Felix is racing later this year in Los Angeles.) This event is new. Created a few years ago to keep crowd interest? Not sure, but each team has two male and two female racers. Tonight every team went boy-girl-boy-girl. The USA finished in third place, behind the Dominican Republic and Netherlands. Ms. Felix earned a bronze medal tonight. That woman has so much hardware around her neck, I hope she never goes anywhere near water. Alyson Felix did so much for our sport, she cannot be thanked enough. Thank you, Alyson!
Happy to report we have a new member of the Taylor family! Our niece, Meghan, delivered a perfect daughter this evening in Sacramento. Claire! We are all so happy.
It's very late, and we have to get up and do this again tomorrow... and the next day... and the next day... well, you get the idea. Until my next update, I remain, your Championship correspondent.
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