DAY 10 | Track Town USA: The greatest Olympic Track & Field Trials ever held in America have finished. The past ten days went by in a blur – thank goodness I have kept-up my journal here and posted all the photos for my own personal scrapbook of the event.
I rode over to the track with Mary to hear DT speak to a group of NIKE employees at eleven o’clock. Every day of the meet, Steve Bence has arranged for a few bus-loads of NIKE employees to experience a track meet, learn the lore of University of Oregon track & field, and see how the history of NIKE and Duck runners are forever linked in history. Steve has planned for different speakers everyday – athletes, past and current NIKE presidents, the first employee and today – our own DT. Most of the people in the group had never been to a track meet.
DT speaking to NIKE employees at Hayward Field
People actually listened!
The other speaker was Tom Redding. Tom (part of our Helsinki & Osaka posse) develops fantastic specialty shoes and makes sure the NIKE athletes have the shoes and equipment they need to perform. He had a few examples of his handiwork and told the crowd he is happy when a NIKE athlete wins a race in his shoes… but can’t relax until the last athlete crosses the finish line in a shoe that has performed perfectly. Elite athletes may have special colors and a few special tweaks, but every shoe available to Bernard Lagat is available to the public in NIKE stores.
“Serve the athlete”.
This racing flat weighs 95 grams
After the talk, I went up to the event office to help – but today there were few chores. The office actually had a very orderly look this morning. Items were being packed away! No more problems to solve. The atmosphere in the office was very relaxed, quiet and calm. It was starting to sink in: the event was a complete and total success.
But first there was another day of track & field – and an American record in the women’s pole vault! What a great day at Hayward Field.
SOLD OUT: over 21,000 fans at Hayward Field today – the all-time record
Track Town, USA
View of the fan fest from the back of the grandstands – two huge screens showed the action live
Not all was pretty: Kellie Wells was injured in the 100m hurdles
I predict Florida State’s Walter Dix will come
home from Beijing with a few medals
Allyson Felix, Marshevet Hooker and Muna Lee will represent the USA in the 200
The last event: men’s 1500. Any of these men could have won. But of course, it was Lagat!
Gabe Jennings takes the lead during the middle of the race
With all of the events finished and the USA team selected – there was nothing to do except eat and celebrate. I can’t count the number of people who came up to me and told me how much DT contributed to the event. I was a very proud wife tonight and DT was very happy, very relaxed (finally!) and very relieved.
Coach Vin Lananna and his wife, Elizabeth, hosted a party tonight in the sponsor hospitality tent for the Eugene08 committee and dignitaries. (DT, Brother Steve and I joined-in.) It was quite the party too. The band entertaining the festival crowd tonight,The Satin Love Orchestra, was absolutely fantastic (everyone thought they were the best band of the past ten days) and hundreds of people were dancing. So much fun! Here are a few photos of the evening:
Just after the meet – DT and Mark Pilkenton celebrate in the hospitality tent
Fans celebrate with Satin Love
Coach Lananna thanks the fans
Even the Chief of Stuff cut a rug…
… with several girls. Here he discos with Meagan
Staffers Tony & Jessica will be married in 31 days
My personal paparazzi:
Zeb took the photos of DT and I presenting the decathlon medals Monday night
JUST DO IT: the entire Eugene08 Team
At 10p the festival closed and the crowds were ushered to the doors. Eugene08 was history. The committee stayed for one last drink, congratulated each other on a job well-done. I said goodbye, but most of the crew will remain for another week or two to get Hayward Field and the campus back to normal. I expect DT home for the weekend, but it will be many weeks before he can retire from his Chief of Stuff position.
What a great track meet!
PS: Brother Steve had breakfast with Tyson Gay this morning. Most definitely a hamstring pull, but Tyson feels he will be ready for Beijing.
I need to get home and order a huge television to watch Andrew Wheating and Galen Rupp in Beijing! Until my next update from Taylor Manor, I remain your Eugene08 correspondent.