I had mixed feelings when the U.S. Olympic Trials organizing committee officially announced its plan for “Hammer Time” last October. Moving the Olympic Trials hammer throw competition from Eugene up to the Portland area could very well highlight the event, but without the right support it also means that the hammer could further vanish into obscurity.
Over the past few years, I’ve witnessed first hand how taking an event out of the stadium can benefit both the event and the meet. Here in Zurich, the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League meeting invests hundreds of thousands every year into hosting an elite shot put competition in the train station the day before the meet. The shot put competition not only publicizes the main event, but draws more attention to the throwers than they likely would have received in the main stadium.
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