SALEM, Ore. — The U.S. Olympic track and field trials will return to Eugene, Ore., in 2016, USA Track & Field announced Thursday at the Oregon state Capitol.
This will be Eugene’s sixth time hosting the Olympic track trials.
“We believe bringing the trials back to Track Town will prepare the team for an equally impressive performance in Rio,” USA Track & Field chief executive officer Max Siegel said at a news conference.
The city is known for its involvement with track and field, earning it the moniker Track Town, USA.
Eugene has played host to the trials in 1972, 1976, 1980, 2008 and 2012.
“In 2012 the trials were nothing short of spectacular,” Siegel said. USA Track & Field is the umbrella organization that oversees the sport of track and field in the U.S.
At the news conference, Gov. John Kitzhaber officially accepted the offer to host the trials. He was joined by University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson, Senate President Peter Courtney, House Speaker Tina Kotek, and Vin Lananna, president of the TrackTown USA organization.
“The state of Oregon really embraces the sport of track and field,” Kitzhaber said. “It’s in our DNA.”
Kitzhaber said the trials would have a positive economic impact on local communities in the state.
Eugene, Oregon’s second-largest city, has a long history with track and field. Eugene is where Nike Inc. was founded, and where several star runners have gotten their start.
At the trials, athletes from around the country compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 5 to 21.