The Match trip was alot of fun. I was able to get home on 11 September, my 61rst birthday and have dinner with my family. The following are my third attempts at observations on The Match, Team Europe vs Team USA.
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Maggie Ewen scored a big PB in her win, photo by Getty Images/European Athletics
1. The European Athletics team that put together the idea should be congratulated on The MATCH: Team Europe vs. Team USA. The beginnings of the event were at Beijing 2015. There were several times in the development of the meet that it could have not happened. Things happen in a process such as this one.
2. Belarus Federation put a lot of Belarussian rubles into this event. The reimagining of the Dinamo Stadium was, several keen observers gave us estimates on the Dinamo stadium refitting at $25-$40 million US.
3. Before the meet was over on Day 2, we were informed that 17,550 of 18,500 seats were filled in the Dinamo Stadium. The crowd love close events, and cheered loudly when Team Europe won, but also cheered on big US events!
4. The key for this event is to have a second one, and a third one. Belarus wants to host in 2021. NBC TV indicated to EAA that they were happy, as was European Broadcasting.
5. That the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukenshenko, IAAF President Seb Coe, and EAA President Sven Arne Hansen were all there, with USATF Stephanie Hightower and Duffie Mahoney should attest to the importantce of the event.
6. Finally, was able to speak to several athletes of USATF team on the plane, and airports. Was impressed with all, but Shannon Rowbury, was in Minsk airport with parents and baby. As positive as ever, Shannon has always impressed. But racing and taking care of baby as one races across Europe is another matter!
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