Sunday, June 29, 2008

2008 Olympic Trials

We started the day with a little tailgate, joined by Dennis and John, but there was no party going on. We were the only ones in the parking lot, so we realized this wasn't Ducks football. But the margaritas were great and we didn't have to stand in a long line for the food. Feeling fortified, we walked across the street to Hayward Field.

The area around Hayward was totally decked out with blocks of booths and displays, and we shopped and strolled on the way to our seats. We got lots of t-shirts and goodies in the Nike store, rested in the blazing sun with a cold beer, and Dennis bought some gorgeous art for their pool area.

We had great seats in the 15th row overlooking the pole vaulting. And we were in the shade for most of the afternoon, which was a bonus, since it was in the 90's and sunny - an absolutely stunning day.

The entire event was spectacular. We had a perfect view of the starting and finish lines, even though we were on the oposite side of the stadium, thanks to the big TV's.

We saw the women's 400 meter hurdles - what a tough race!

And the men's 5000 meter. We were happy to see two Oregon runners win their heats in the 800 and the 5000. Naturally, the crowd went wild!

Nike's merchandise was amazing, and their wildly painted 70's VW bugs were complete with a walk down memory lane. There is a lot of emphasis on Pre, and we watched a TV special on his life last night.

I'm still sort of obsessed with him. His spirit definitely occupies that stadium and it's hard to be there and not think of him.

Pre's running shoes - made from an old pair of Adidas - you can still see the shadow of the Adidas stripes under the green finish. And Bowerman's waffle maker used to create those innovative soles.

It was a great day - almost magical - and we were fortunate enough to be able to see the parade of the USA's 1980 Olympic athletes, who were unable to compete because of the USA's boycott of the Russian games.

Norris ran on the Oregon Track team while he was in college and Bowerman was his coach. Just stepping into Hayward is special for him, and I loved that we were able to get tickets to this big event!

(and the tickets were purchased in an auction for the Windermere Foundation, so our *ahem* sizable donation for those four seats will buy a lot of food and care for homeless kids in Portland. Win/Win!)

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