Back in July I had the pleasure of watching the Track and Field trials for the US. It was in Eugene, Oregon. It was at a stadium called Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
Tickets for the Track and Field Trials
Trials are the name for the competition that each sport holds to decide it’s Olympic Team. Swimming has a trials competition, gymnastics has a trials, so on and so on…. The trials for Track and Field take place over several days. We were only in Eugene one day and watched events like the women’s 400m and the men’s decathlon. The decathlon is an interesting event. It takes places over 2 days. Can you guess how many track events the athletes complete? Look at the beginning of the word for a clue. The word Deca comes from Greece and means….. 10. The men compete in 10 events. We watched the final day where the men did the 110m hurdles, discuss, pole vault, javelin and 1500m run.
The final event for the decathlon. The grueling 1500 m. The guy in front is Jeremy Taiwo. He competed at UW.
We had a pretty good time at the trials. USATF set it up for kids too. They had events all around the stadium that kids could compete in like the shot put and high jump. Nike displayed the team uniforms that the athletes will be wearing. Pretty cool. Ella, my daughter was impressed.
Look closely and you can see some special rubber triangles that are supposed to help the sprinters cut down on drag, or wind resistance.
We even ran into some famous people in the Track and Field World. Dan O’Brien’s nephew was sitting in front of us. Dan swung by to visit with him. He’s a reporter for a television show and won the gold medal in the decathlon several years ago. He’s a little older than me.
Dan trained for the Olympics at WSU while I was a student there. He won the Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
The Summer Olympics in Rio are here! Will you be watching? Kids at the age of 10-11 are some of the biggest followers of the games. So, you must be watching, right? Don’t worry, if you haven’t been watching, they started yesterday. The US Women’s Soccer team played New Zealand. The US won 2-0. The women’s teams for the US are expected to be very dominant. Why? It may be because there aren’t many other countries that give women the opportunity to compete in sports. They don’t get to play. Ask your mother, or your grandmother, if they competed in sports. A special law, Title IX, was passed in 1972 in the US to give women more opportunities in sports. This really started the change that made us quite different than most countries around the world in regards to sports. It does seem more countries are starting to change, but they have a long way to go to catch up to the level of play of the US. For example, the US Women’s Soccer Team has won the Gold Medal in the last 3 Olympics.
The Opening Ceremonies are tomorrow. Watch for Michael Phelps. He’ll be carrying the US flag. The rest of our country’s athletes will follow him into the stadium.