2021 Eugene Diary: 2019 USA Track & Field World Champions Welcomed Home with Kickoff for World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2021

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The Kickoff for the World Championships in 2021 happened on October 10, and it had a plethora of local and state media. Eugene 2021 is the next WC, and it should be exciting and on U.S. homeground for the first time! The new stadium is looking good, and the state of Oregon is behind the event as well! This should be an epic event and we look forward to seeing all there!

Eugene 2021 ko .jpgThe big crowd in Eugene, 10 Oct 2019, photo by LOC

DB and kids.jpgDonavan Brazier and local kids, photo by LOC

2012 KO .jpgThe athletes and dignitaries at the Eugene 2021 Kick off, photo by LOC

2019 USA Track & Field World Champions Welcomed Home with Kickoff for World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2021

Eleven Track & Field World Champions from past and present gathered in TrackTown USA -- Eugene, Oregon -- the first U.S. city and state to host the global sporting event

Eugene, Ore. (Oct. 10, 2019) - Oregon21, LLC, USA Track & Field(USATF), Travel Oregonand the University of Oregon teamed up to host the official kickoff event for the World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 today at the University of Oregon campus. The event welcomed back Team USATF athletes just returning from this year's World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which concluded on Sunday, Oct. 6, with Team USATF athletes and teams winning an astounding 14 gold medals, and 29 medals overall. The Team USATF gold medal tally matched the highest ever for an American team.

The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships will come to the United States for the first time Aug. 6-15, 2021. It will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2021. University of Oregon's Hayward Field will host nearly 2,000 competitors from more than 200 countries.

"We could not be prouder to bring the World Championships to the United States for the first time ever, and it is only fitting that TrackTown USA serve as the host," said Governor Kate Brown. "Oregon is a running mecca, and we are excited to bring the globe's elite athletes to our beautiful state. The event speaks to the Oregonian spirit -- we are strong, nimble, and quick, just like these stellar athletes with us today, and we can't wait to cheer them on when they compete here in Oregon in 2021."

Athletes in attendance included:

  • Donavan Brazier - 2019 World Champion in the 800m, where he set a new American and Championship record.
  • Michelle Carter - USATF Team Co-Captain in Doha, 2016 Olympic Champion and American record holder in Women's Shot Put.
  • Michael Cherry - 2019 World Champion in the 4x400m and 4x400m Mixed Relays, and current world record holder in the 4x400m Mixed Relay.
  • Christian Coleman - 2019 World Champion in the 100m and 4x100m Relay.
  • Sam Kendricks - USATF Team Co-Captain in Doha and 2019 World Champion in the Pole Vault.
  • Wil London - 2019 World Champion in the 4x400m and 4x400m Mixed Relays, and current world record holder in the 4x400m Mixed Relay.
  • Courtney Okolo - 2019 World Champion and current world record holder in the 4x400m Mixed Relay.
  • DeAnna Price - 2019 World Champion in the Women's Hammer Throw, the first-ever world title for Team USATF in this event.

Past World Champion athletes also in attendance included:

  • Mike Powell - Two-time World Champion and world record holder in the Long Jump.
  • Michael Johnson - Winner of eight World Athletics Championships and four Olympic gold medals in 200m, 400m and 4x400 Relay in the span of his career.
  • Mary Decker Slaney - World Champion in the 1500m and 3000m at the 1983 World Athletics Championships. Mary still holds American records in the mile and 3000m, and is the former world record holder in the mile, 5000m and 10,000m. She is a resident of Eugene.

In addition to Governor Brown, other regional, national, and international figures in sports, government and tourism answered questions about how they are preparing for this massive, unmissable event.

"On behalf of the USATF athletes, thank you for the warm welcome back to the U.S. I am fresh from Doha and let me tell you -- it was electric. And there is even more electricity -- and more medals -- to come," said Renee Chube Washington, Chief Operating Officer of USATF and Board Member of Oregon21, LLC. "For the first time ever, the World Athletics Championships are being held in the United States. Oregon will be an incredible host to both our American athletes competing on their home turf as well as competitors and fans traveling here from around the world."

The World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 will be held at the new Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. The world-class venue will offer nearly 25,000 fans a theater designed specifically for track and field, unobstructed sight lines throughout and great acoustics. The first row of seats will sit on track level, mere feet from the outside lane.

"We are thrilled to welcome the world to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon," said University of Oregon President Michael Schill. "The World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 presents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the state's flagship public university and our unwavering pursuit of innovation and excellence."

Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis echoed Schill's welcome and said, "The city of Eugene is the birthplace of modern American running. We look forward to welcoming the world to Eugene."

There is a desire to host World Athletics Championships events in 2021 outside of Eugene, with the potential for the women's and men's Marathons to be held in Portland. An International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) team will visit the proposed course in January and make a recommendation to the IAAF Council in March 2020.

"It would be fantastic to welcome the world's best marathoners to our community and watch the world-class event unfold and wind through our beautiful city," said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler in a statement. "My staff and I are working extensively with City of Portland staff, Oregon21, LLC and Sport Oregon officials to put forward Portland as the host of the World Athletics Championships Marathons, and we look forward to sharing our ideas and proposed plans with the IAAF in January next year."

The hosting of the World Athletics Championships will impact the entire state.

"Travel Oregon recognizes the unparalleled opportunity to showcase Oregon on the world stage by supporting Oregon21, LLC's marketing efforts and elevating awareness of the state through this world-class competition," said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. "We're also working to ensure the positive economic impact of this event is felt in every corner of Oregon by connecting communities to the IAAF so they can capitalize on supplying training facilities, lodging and amenities for athletes."

Tickets will be available for purchase after the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Eager ticket buyers can sign up at www.worldathleticschamps.com/oregon21 to be the first to receive email updates on schedules, events and early access to ticketing. Follow the hashtag #WorldAthleticsChamps on social media.

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