October 10, 2019
Good morning everyone and welcome to the Oregon21 kickoff event!
We could not be prouder that we are able to bring the World Championships to the United States for the first time ever.
And it is only fitting that TrackTown USA serve as the first U.S. city to host this incredible competition. What an honor for the University of Oregon, the city of Eugene, the state of Oregon, and our entire country.
It’s true—and it’s been true for a long time—that Oregon is a running MECCA.
When the globe’s elite athletes come to compete here... When they run and walk and explore all over our beautiful state... they will understand why Oregon is considered the epicenter of running in the United States.
After all, Oregon raised Steve Prefontaine. Dick Fosbury. Ashton Easton. Phyllis Francis. English Gardner. Nick Symmonds. Galen Rupp. Raevyn Rogers. Edward Cheserek. And Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman of (maybe you’ve heard of it?) Nike.
I can’t wait for athletes from all corners of the world to compete on the state-of-the-art, world-class Hayward Field!
Talk about a home field advantage…
Hayward Field isn’t the only finish line! I am also proud to announce that both men and women’s marathon events will be hosted in Portland, delivering on Oregon21’s mission to involve the whole state.
Big thanks to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for his leadership.
I’ve been so lucky to be present in Doha to witness the thrilling achievements of Team USA. 14 gold medals—WOW!
The baton has been passed from Doha to Oregon. According to my watch, we have 526 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes and 2 seconds before the World Athletics Championships kicks off just a few yards from where I’m standing.
We’re on the final sprint, and look forward to welcoming you back to Oregon soon!
Thank you, everyone.