EUGENE, Ore. (NEXSTAR) – For the fourth consecutive time, Hayward Field is hosting the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials. But its history of hosting the trials actually dates back to 1972.
“Obviously led by the efforts of Bill Bowerman and the Oregon Track Club at that time,” says Michael Reilly, the CEO of TrackTown USA. “But that really laid the foundation for our entire community to come together and to welcome the best athletes from all over the United States in pursuit of their Olympic dreams.”
And to assist with that pursuit, an official non-profit organization was formed in 2012: TrackTown USA.
“I think everybody, certainly, on our staff is very much oriented towards fulfilling the mission of what sport can do,” says Reilly. “We often talk as a staff about, it’s more than hosting a track and field competition. It’s about taking that moment in time and creating a set of different world-class experiences.”
Which include a supportive environment for the athletes, maintaining and improving facilities and inspiring the next generation.
“I think at the heart of the TrackTown USA community is certainly the people,” says Reilly. “I think when we are hosting a major event like the Olympic trials, it really is the entire Eugene-Springfield community coming out and embracing the event.”