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Rest Day: 1

TrackTown, USA: There are two days off from the Olympic Trials. They are called rest days, but I am unsure if the rest is for the athletes or the fans?

Dave and I had the opportunity for a tour of the athletic facilities under/inside the new Hayward Field stadium, so we jumped at the chance. Several years ago, we contributed funds for the construction, with a designation to honor Dave's college coach, Bill Dellinger. In the end, they built a lounge for the coaches and named it for Dellinger. We were finally able to see the room today.

Posers! Donors names are carved in the wooden arch to the entrance to the tower at Hayward Field. Our tour was led by Assistant Athletic Director Jill Steele, and we were joined by several other donors/past athletes. To say the facilities for the athletes is outstanding is such an understatement. Everything is over-the-top, with so many details. Art is everywhere, and the rich history of the sport at the University is heralded on every wall.

Under the stadium are hundreds of yards of track lanes, covered in the same surface (different color) as the track outside. Athletes can train indoors if needed.
This area is being used as the "call" area this week. Before each event, athletes are to report here to be given last-minute instructions for their event, and receive lane numbers to stick on their hips.
Again, this week this area is used to process competitors, but on a normal day it is a training area for jumpers and throwers. The ceilings are tall enough for pole vaulting!
The weight room - well, part of the weight room. There are every sort of weight machine you can imagine in this area.

Close-up of the weight room mats: CITIUS - ALTIUS - FORTIUS. The Olympic motto: FASTER - HIGHER - STRONGER.

The athletes get a lounge as well!
Auditorium for team meetings.
Hot tubs. Cold tubs. Treadmills. Non-impact treadmills. Every sort of machine.
Sleeping pods!
Locker rooms! Each athlete has a locker, and this area also holds private shower/changing rooms and bathrooms.
The lockers are ventilated and have charging stations for laptops and phones. After being opened, the doors slide/tuck-away between lockers.

After seeing the physical therapy and medical facilities, we came around the corner to find the coaches lounge:

There is a little area for snacks and drinks on one end, and the other end has seating and a television. The walls are lined with more memorabilia.

There's DT (runner on the top left), in the official 1973 team photo. Coach Bill Dellinger is the coach on the left; Bill Bowerman is the coach on the right. Dave was a member of the 1973 & 1974 national championship cross country teams.
Display of the current shoes and uniforms used by the Men and Women of Oregon.
There is a small salon in the locker room area! One barber chair, a hair-washing station, and a pedicure chair! I have no idea about the history of this beaver (rival Oregon State University mascot) holding a Duck flag, but it certainly makes a statement.
After touring the belly of the stadium and seeing the training facilities and locker rooms, we entered the area directly below the tower which holds a museum. Over one hundred years of track and field lore. Several rooms show the history in a time-line, with photos, film, interactive displays, and memorabilia. There are hundreds of trophies along the other side of the hallway. We would need several hours to explore the museum - but not today.
A small theater plays an eight-minute informational film. The walls are covered in bleachers from the old stadium and the chairs were once in the President's box. Very nostalgic.
Last, but definitely NOT least, we took the elevator to the top of the tower. The tower holds offices and conference rooms. Each floor is named for a University of Oregon athlete earning an Olympic gold medal. Eight Ducks have earned a total of ten gold medals! Funny thing? There is no 10th floor. No Presidential Suite.
Don't look down!
But one can certainly look up to this fabulous new facility.

Thank you, Ms. Steele, for this behind-the-scene tour of the best athletics facility in the USA world.

After a late lunch meeting, we returned to our bus to meet a bus washer, and finally get the road grime off this beast. The Magna Peregrinus looks so much better now... and after having yet another late lunch, we ended up with only small appetizer plates for dinner. Again.

Until my next update, I remain, your impressed correspondent.

4 thoughts

  1. This particular article highlights both your writing and photography skills. I must admit I have read your blog for years and have simply come to take for granted your abilities. I have nothing to do with athletics, and our four children all attended Washington schools, but I am IMPRESSED with the stadium tour.

  2. Great post, Terry. Both Stu and I enjoyed it. Thanks for the inside look at the new Hayward Field that we have been admiring on TV these past few weeks. Miss you guys,, Duck games and Oregon life in general. Let us know if you and DT are in New England ever.

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