After being host in both 2008 and 2012, Eugene has once again been selected for a third straight time and will be host for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
It’s the first time that Track Town USA has been host for three consecutive trials since it hosted for 1972, 1976 and 1980.
The last trials saw quite a bit of excitement with former Oregon track sensation Ashton Eaton setting a world record in the decathlon. Eaton and a large number of other local athletes will compete again with the hopes of making it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nick Symmonds of Springfield is another one those athletes. Symmonds has competed in each of the last Olympics in the 800m and represented team USA with first place finishes.
According to Kari Westlund (CEO of Travel Lane County) the past two trials generated close to $60 million dollars ($28 mil in 2008, $31 mil in 2012) in regional impact. With the continued development of Historic Hayward Field and an expansion of seating available, the number will likely be even higher than in previous trials.
[gn_quote style=”1″]“I don’t think it’s an event that we’ll ever take for granted,” Westlund said. “It’s one that needs to be approached with a great sense of stewardship anytime we’re honored to receive it.”[/gn_quote]
Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA and a University of Oregon representative, made the announcement at the State Capitol building in Salem. Lananna and a handful of other representatives accepted the bid from USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel.
[gn_quote style=”1″]“The 2012 Trials were nothing short of spectacular and we are excited to continue our collaboration with Tracktown and the University of Oregon for what we know will be a spectacular event in 2016,” Siegel said. “Last year, Hayward Field provided the backdrop for our Olympic team which went on to dominate the Olympics in a way that was the best performance in a generation. We believe that bringing the Trials back to TrackTown will prepare the team for an equally impressive performance in Rio de Janeiro.”[/gn_quote]