By: Alex Scott
The Olympic Trials for Team USA began on Sunday, June 30 in Eugene, Oregon – also known as TrackTown USA, the second most famous city in the forty-third most famous state in the country. Competition concludes today with the Men’s 1500m (I will admit, I’m lost – anyone know what the m stands for?) final at 5:20 EST.
For those unfamiliar with the goings-on of the Track and Field world, the Olympic Trials simultaneously serve as a national championship and a chance to qualify for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The top three athletes in each event are blessed with an Olympic berth and a chance to bring glory to our great nation. With news of the Zika virus potentially affecting athletes visiting the games in Rio this year, competition has been tight and surprises plentiful.
Take for example the men’s 100m (?) dash, which took place on Day 3. Former Olympic medalist Tyson Gay, now in his final year as a runner, led about half of the race before he was seen visibly slowing down to cede the top three positions to his competitors. Many speculated that a nasty hamstring injury from 2013 had flared up and prevented him from a strong finish, but when interviewed by our correspondent Gay had this to say: “Hell no, there’s no way I’m gonna put myself at risk of contracting the Zika virus.” Whatever that means… Thanks for everything Tyson! USA! USA!
A similarly strange event took place after the women’s 100m hurdles final on Friday. Nia Ali was running in the middle of the pack, and in the last 10m sprint, it looked as though she was a lock for fourth. In the lane adjacent, Queen Harrison pulled up with a hamstring injury, placing Ali squarely in third. Despite Ali’s achievement, she appeared to be upset with her result. What happened next stunned everyone. Ali stole the starter’s gun and attempted to shoot herself in the head. Luckily, the gun was not loaded or built with the intent to do harm. EMTs tied the shaking Ali to a stretcher and carried her off of the track. Nearby witnesses claim they could hear her mumbling, “I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go.” Reader, congratulate Nia Ali on her Olympic opportunity! Death to communism!
There’s something so special about Track and Field during the Olympic year. Tensions are high and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see how this year’s championships turn out!