And so it begins
DAY 0 | Track Town USA: The countdown clock
sits at mere hours as I type this first report from the 2008 USA Track &
Field Team Trials. Finally, all seems (nearly) ready to go! This morning I
had a (top-secret high-security!) printing job to do for DT, then I went
over to Command Central and accompanied DT on his "walk-about". The entire
area is a hive of activity with trucks, golf carts and workers going every
which way to get their booths, displays and restaurants ready for the
Command Central. How official. Notice I haven't yet removed the stickers
from his new laptop?
Testing new video boards at the main festival area. Vendors are busy setting
up their displays.
NIKE has set up an entire shop at the Festival - of course it is very cool
(air conditioned too).
The main entrance to Hayward Field, Powell Plaza has been a bit refashioned
for the Trials.
One of the entrances to the Olympic Trials
We left the secure area and went to where
Michael's Catering (Phoenix, Arizona) operates the main kitchen which
will feed thousands of people every day during the trials. The entire
parking lot directly across from the hammer ring is now devoted to the
caterer and various semi-trucks. Crazy busy here today with all the
employees picking up their uniforms and receiving their marching orders. We
did, however, get a nice little lunch.
After lunch DT gave me a tour of the recycling center. Everything used at
the Olympic Trials is recyclable. My lunch was served in a bowl made from
corn and I used a fork also made from corn. Very cool that the local
organizing committee decided to really make the games as green as possible.
Twenty thousand people a day for ten days can produce an immense amount of
trash. There is a team of workers that actually go through each piece of
trash, item by item, to ensure everything has been sorted correctly.
Something the fans will never see - the caterer's main kitchen
The view from Cap's
The temporary bleachers and another video board now in place on the east
A few athletes were working out too, so that was fun.
On the way to the media area, I snapped this photo of a few of the satellite
Think they are big enough?
I went over to the accreditation center and gave a
complete stranger a ride to his hotel on my way back to the motorhome.
He thinks Oregonians are very friendly.
In a bit, DT will come fetch me and we will head out to the party for the
1980 US Olympic Team. Check back later for that update. Do you think I will
post a photo of Centrowitz... and his date - The Colonel???
Added much later: Well, Dear Reader, it is well past
dark-thirty as I post these photos for you to read with your morning coffee
(or tea). We did attend the wonderful party at the King Estate (completely
hosted by King Estate
by the way, so please pick up bottle or case of their delicious wine the
next time you are out, will you?) celebrating the 1980 Olympic Team. Guests
gathered for wine and appetizers and then the team was announced one-by-one.
I had goose pimples several times realizing the caliber of athletes gathered
on the 1980 team. Possibly the greatest team America ever produced never
competed at the Olympics.
The Team to Nowhere.
Behind the podium the 1980 team lined-up awaiting their introduction
Madeline Manning Mims sang the National Anthem. The first
woman to ever run under two minutes in the 800m, Madeline represented the
USA on four Olympic teams. From Tennessee State University, Manning Mims is
the first (and still the only) American woman to earn the gold medal in the
It really was a magical evening in a magical setting. Here are more photos
from the event. I realize a few of you may have flashbacks seeing these
photos... I apologize. I claim no responsibility for hair loss or waist-line
To get the hairline/waistline scenario off to a good start - let's begin
with a photo of DT & me.
Glance looks better than ever and is still charming
Doug Brown, Matt Centrowitz, Mike Haywood and DT
Don't try this at home: Our Beloved Dellinger with Mary Decker Slaney and
After such a lovely party (and lots of lovely foods that we
never were able to try) we decided to leave early to get some much needed
rest. Ah, but as we came closer to Hayward Field, the lights beckoned and DT
thought maybe it would be a good idea if he stopped by to check on a few
He needn't have worried. While we were enjoying the fete at the King Estate,
thousands of elves had completed their tasks and the track - and the
adjoining festival - were ready for opening day.
DT checks out the festival area - midnight
Tomorrow begins the best track meet in the world. Dustin
runs in the 800m heats tomorrow evening - watch the meet on TV! Until my
next update, I remain, your very ready correspondent.