When the athletes entered Hayward Field some walked and others ran in. Some used their country’s flag as a backdrop for pictures, while others jumped for joy as a team with Hayward in the background or were photographed individually. I saw several young athletes reenact the famous Usain Bolt “lightning bolt” pose.
Tuesday was all about movement. Behind the scenes, workers carried equipment and finalized the set up. Flags waved in the breeze and spectators in the grandstands encouraged the athletes with cheers, clapping, and by wearing the flags and/or colors of those they were supporting. Our home crowd also participated by answering questions, giving directions, and expressing an overall sense of welcome.
Everyone socialized outside of the grandstands where you could run in human-size hamster wheels, ride bicycles to generate power, and check out the University of Oregon’s global interaction booth. In the evening, flags representing each athlete’s nation were paraded around Hayward Field.
But the greatest piece of movement was the closing event: the Men’s 10K Finals. A band in the center of the field played a special musical arrangement for the entire 30 minutes of the race. The music was soft and slow, then loud and intense, staying in sync with the runners throughout the race. The crowd loved it and I think so did many of the athletes.
I can’t wait to see what Day 2 brings!