Okay, it is the holidays. I am trying to post up all the stories that I missed over the past few months. This is one Jeff Benjamin has been texting me about for sometime. Like the Carl Lewis and LeRoy Burrell for relay coaches, this one should provoke some responses.
I love Eugene. So do most track fans. But the idea of moving major events around the country just makes sense. Besides New York, the upcoming renovations at Mount SAC make it a logical site for nationals and Trials.
Having several good sites to choose from is not a bad problem. Remember the fun we had at Stanford and Sacramento when Nationals and Trials were held there?
What?! Eugene Fatigue and the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials? A Possible Solution! By Jeff Benjamin
WARNING-The following article is a humble, yet passionately submitted opinion. This writer does not represent any interests other than himself in the pursuit of this quest (however quixotic) and is solely responsible for the idea, and can be fairly judged as a biased point of viewðŸ˜€!
Ken Goe is a great writer. The Oregonian/OregonLive! track writer does a great job covering almost all of the angles of the Sport not only for the local Eugene faithful (who must be given credit as the most knowledgeable Track & Field fans around!) but for the worldwide audience on the Web as well.
So when this writer came across Goe’s most recent piece on possible Eugene fatigue, an epiphany struck.
With Eugene having already hosted 3 consecutive Olympic Trials, along with a plethora of NCAA Championships, and prepping up for the first-ever Outdoor World Championships here in America in 2021, Goe fears a backlash might be coming, with no opportunity to spread the Sport’s great events nationally.
The main quote from the article-
“Many believe for the sport to flourish in this country again it needs to be exported outside the Eugene cocoon. Sacramento and the Los Angeles area (Mt. SAC Community College) are exploring 2020 bids” summed up his respective point, and sparked my epiphany with the following proposal-
Why not NYC in 2020?
Yes, I know, it’s a long shot. I’ve heard and seen for years how some have spoke of the impossibility of the Big Apple hosting. I’m also aware that there’s a heck of a selection bidding process which involves money, a united front, money, a detailed proposal, – did I mention money?
Here’s a link to the bid process–
Yet, didn’t Goe mention a point about the Sport expanding into a bigger market? Hasn’t USA Track and Field shown a growth profit margin in recent years? Finally, doesn’t NYC, known as the “Media Capitol of the World” already have a World Class Outdoor Facility, in the structure of Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island?
Randall’s Island also, like Hayward Field, has history and tradition with the Sport as well. Previous U.S. Olympic Trials have been held there, where athletes such as Jesse Owens, Jim Ryun, Wilma Rudolph, among other Greats, have made Olympic teams. In 1991, Leroy Burrell set a world record there in the 100 meters. That was also the year that the performance of Decathlete Dan O’Brien stamped him as the Athletic force to be reckoned with over the next decade. Even in recent years, it was none other than Usain Bolt who set the 100 meter record right in Icahn. Also, with groups such as New York Road Runners, NJ-NY Track Club, NYAC, The Armory and the Icahn Foundation, among many other groups and persons devoted to the Sport, can’t a group be formed to try and make the Trials happen here?
Those who know and have competed at Icahn can no doubt agree that NYC already has the facility. I guess the question is the logistics, and with time running out on a proposal, it is most definitely, as mentioned before, a long shot. Also, just because a proposal is made definitely does not mean it will be approved either.
Perhaps Vin Lanana would look at it. The leader of “Track Town USA” (and possibly USATF by the end of the year) actually has NYC connections in that he did coach here in the past. But would he? Goe writes convincingly how the 2020 Trials would be the dress rehearsal for the 2021 Eugene World Championships, and it may make sense to keep it there.
But one can always try. Just like in competition, Sports history is replete with who should have and shouldn’t have succeeded on the field of competition. Defying the odds is sometimes motivation enough to achieve victory. Perhaps NYC can do it, perhaps not. But one won’t know unless one tries.
Who’s with me?