Brianne Theisen-Eaton: Bring the World Champs to Eugene, and Raise Awareness on Track & Field in the USA, by Alex Mills

A Day in the life, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, May 12, 2013, 
photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion in the heptathlon, gave this interview to Alex Mills in support of the Eugene 2019 bid for the World Championships. 

Brianne Theison-Eaton believes bringing the world athletics championships to Eugene is essential to raising the awareness on Track and Field in the USA.

The town is one of three venues bidding to become the 2019 world championships host alongside Doha and Barcelona and speaking ahead of the final vote in Monaco on Tuesday, the Canadian said: "I think it's a real cool deal. I think the one thing around track and field in the United states is that the interest around it has been fading and that's something that is really bad to see, because if you think back to the days when Carl Lewis and Edwin Moses were competing, it was a big deal." she added "To have something like a world championship here and to be able to say to people 'Hey, track and field does go on outside of the Olympic year.' would be great. 

"To have this in their home country would be huge and it would be a big step in raising the awareness of track and field in the United States and North America just in general."

A world championships at Hayward Field, in Eugene, Oregon,  would of course, also allow the former University of Oregon student an opportunity to compete in a major championship in what was her treasured home stadium for four years. The heptathlete believes the stadium and the town have a lot to offer:  "Eugene is a very cool place to be, it has a very specific interests and track and field is definitely one of them, they just love talking to you when you're walking down the street; to have so many people recognise you just because you do track is great." 

 "So many people out there give you a lot of support, So it would be nice to showcase our talents at home and to give back to the people that help so much during our college careers and our careers as a professional athlete."

Even if the bid is successful, Theison-Eaton has a lot to look forward to before then, with the world championships in Beijing next August offering a serious opportunity to win her first major international gold medal.

Although she admits it will be a tough order to take the victory in China, the Canadian believes it is an achievable goal: "I'd have to work my butt off in order to get it (Gold) because there are a lot of good athletes; the heptathlon is really strong...but I think everyone has a chance of a gold medal, the heptathlon is so unique in that you have seven events to screw up or you have seven events to do really well."

Next summer will also provide the multi-eventer with an opportunity to compete at home championships for the first time when she takes part in the Pan-AM Games in Toronto in July. Although the 25 year-old says she is unlikely to take part in the heptathlon at the event she is enthusiastic to be involved: "I'm not sure if I'm going to do heptathlon or not, the schedule just came out and it's in July which is pretty close to the world champions but I'll definitely do individual events. I'd love to hurdle there and do the long jump and if possible the 4 X 400m." she said.

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