The new and improved Hayward Field sits ready for the Olympic Trials, whenever that comes
There was a lot of hope that the new Hayward Field would be a major attraction before the pandemic hit, and it finally looks like events will return in some form or another.
The 2021 Olympic games are scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 23rd.
We spoke to an athlete training for her shot at an Olympic medal to see how uncertainty is playing a role in everything.
Raevyn Rogers, an 8 time all-American, 6-time national champion, and the recipient of the prestigious Bowerman Award with the Oregon Ducks is training for her return to Track Town USA for the 2021 Olympic Trials. After the 2020 summer Olympics were postponed last March, she had to refocus.
"I expected it, so it was kind of hard to be sad," Rogers said. "It was just one of those things that were like "ok so what is the plan now?"
The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8th. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently released their first resource playbook for a safe and successful event. One line reading...
"...limiting the number of time athletes and support staff stay in the village, restrictions on socializing outside the village, their movement between official games venues, and a COVID-19 screening system that will see athletes and support staff screened during the games."
But before the Olympics, Hayward Field will hold the 2021 Olympic Trials- slated for mid-June. After running for the Ducks in college, Rogers feels a bit of a "home-court advantage."
"performing in front of the home crowd, I always want to do my best and perform my best," she said. "That's just the kind of pride that I want to carry when it comes to just how much I associate and really care for the University of Oregon."
The atmosphere at Hayward is electric, but due to the pandemic, runners in Olympic trials could be at a loss without a crowd.
"It's not just the noise, but more so the energy," Rogers said. "With the tradition of coming of the Bowerman Curve, there's so much tradition and so much energy that these passionate track fans give."
After running on tracks internationally, Rogers says Hayward has potential as an Olympic venue.
"We've got to get the parking and the hotels a little more situated but the track alone and the facility alone is just Olympic standard."
Rogers was also recognized by her alma mater, as they used her photo on the new Bowerman Tower at Hayward. Photos of Steve Prefontaine, Ashton Eaton, and Bill Bowerman are also on the tower.
A major event people were looking forward to this year was the IAAF 2021 Track and Field World Championships, but because of the pandemic, that will happen in 2022.
posted Saturday February 20th