Saturday, May 7, 2016

V 6 N. 33 Starting to get fired up for the Pre



The Willamette River, Eugene, OR
Accent on the 'a' 



     In a couple of weeks Roy and I will be making our third consecutive trek to Eugene for the Prefontaine Meet.  This year  we've been accredited by no less than  the Diamond League  as free lance journalists.  Whoop Dee Doo!    I'll believe it when I see the badges at the press conference sign in on Friday afternoon. The first two trips culminated in visits  to Nike headquarters in Beaverton,   Bill Dellinger's home in Eugene , and attending a gathering with Pre's former UO team members at the bar where Pre once worked.  Interviews with Joe Kovacs and Renaud Lavillenie were face to face highlights with current world class athletes.

     Roy roads it up from Ukiah, California, and I drive down from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.  We're into our sixth year doing this blog now and sort of have a nonverbal deal of quitting when we hit the 1970 date of Roy's reviews of Track and Field News  fifty years after the fact.  We just put out the May, 1966 review.  Roy writes the review, I find the photos from various sources and our buddy Steve Price proofreads everything for accuracy.  The other stories come to us in a myriad of ways.  Readers send us ideas, some send us pieces they've written.  Sometimes looking for photos on Google Images leads us to other stories.

     Steve lives in Piqua, Ohio.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Piqua, Ohio.   Some of you may remember a fair to middln' road runner who hails from Piqua named Rick Callison.
I think he was an 8th place  Boston finisher back when.    How 'bout Bob Schul who grew up on a farm a few miles south of Piqua down Route 48 near West Milton?


Track Town Pizza,  a must stop when in Eugene.
One of the sites I'll be seeing the evening of May 28
     Back to the Pre,  some think that it may be the lesser of the three big meets in Eugene this year with the NCAA and Olympic Trials also on the menu.  That could be true.  It will lack the tradition of the college competition of the NCAA  and the drama of the Olympic Trials.   Some may also be questioning if the Pre is not a bit early for the world class athletes to be flexing their muscles with the Olympics coming in August.  Still the prize money offered by the Diamond League should draw in a few good aspirants.  Seeing twenty sub 4 minute miles in one afternoon though can  be more than  entertaining.   How many clear cut favorites to win medals in Rio will be there is yet to be determined.    One thing is sure ,  there will be a mob of appreciative fans and a gathering of some highly tuned athletes.   We can only wish the doping story was a non story but that's what the sport is today.  Yesterday the Russkies got slammed again in the world press with allegations that several of their  medallists at Sochi were proven to be doping.   We probably won't be seeing their athletes in Brazil this summer, but we won't miss too many big names except their hurdler Sergey Shubenkov. The Games have a recent history of abandonment, including the African boycott in Montreal, the US boycott in Moscow and the Russian reciprocity in Los Angeles, and  the US threat to abandon in Berlin.  But those were self imposed.  This one will be a withdrawl of an invite to the party.  Well, so it goes.   That's world politics.  Mankind just seems to always be trying to take advantage over one's neighbors, from  the first migrations out of Africa looking for easier prey to Homo Sapiens supplanting Neanderthal men in Europe, tipping their spears with bronze, to using long  bows at the battle of Agincourt,  to colonization of the world by Europe, and to modern recolonization by international corporations and agribusiness.  Corruption and cheating are more a way of life than we care to imagine.
One of first known cheaters using a bronze tipped spear.
      Greed seems to be what makes our world go round, not the love we are often led to believe.  Heard a politician say , "Love your neighbor" lately?  They he/she would get any votes with that campaign theme?

     Nevertheless we'll soldier on with this blog, because we get a lot of positive feedback from the people who read it.  Take care and have a great month of May.  

     Here is a piece on Pre sent to us by Ed Odeven who writes for the Japan Times.  We'll put some more of Ed's work on our blog in the future.  Thanks, Ed.

The Pre from Ed Odeven and Japan Times

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