Who to Watch in Track & Field at the Summer Olympics
It’s time for the opening ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics! We’ve got brand ambassador George Haywood on board to give us an overview of what to expect.
What Does it Feel Like to Cross the Finish Line?
According to Haywood, “Crossing the finish line of any race is exhilarating. The feeling of accomplishment, of achieving a goal that you've set and steadfastly worked toward. Only you made it happen for yourself. Of course, finishing feels wonderful no matter how many times you've done that race before.”
This is the feeling that Olympic athletes are chasing. As long as the Olympics don’t get scratched at the last minute, there should be several champions representing their countries at a wide variety of races.
What Should Olympians Wear?
George Haywood has a long history of running, and he’s won several awards in the 200, 300, 400, and 800-meter races. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he personally vouches for wearing TRUEENERGY ® socks. “I want the healing effect that their technology provides. I wear TRUEENERGY ® for competing, for training, and I wear the over-the-calf socks around the house for therapeutic recovery.”
As to the rest of a runner’s wardrobe, we’ve found that wearing sweat-wicking running shorts or running tights provides a nice touch. Additionally, a comfortable and flexible pair of running shoes is a must. Branded sweat-wicking t-shirts are yet another must have. Haywood has worn some combination of the above as he trains and competes. You can expect to see many Olympians wearing something similar.
Who is George Haywood Excited About?
When we asked George Haywood about the Olympics in general, he said, “I'm super excited about the Olympics! I love lots of different sports, but the Olympics are in a category of their own. Probably because it only comes every four years, or in this case five years, it is super special. I watch many different Olympic sports, but of course the one that I focus on most is track and field.”
We asked him to elaborate with a few of his favorite competitors, and his answer was eye-opening.
“There are several races that are shaping up to be absolutely epic. The two that I am most eager to see are the 400 m hurdles for women and for men.
In both events, world records were set within the last month.
In the case of the men's event, the record that was broken was set almost 30 years ago in the Barcelona Olympics. Both races feature two amazingly good competitors, Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin in the women's race and Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin in the men's. The races should be dramatic and close, and the winner may need to run a new world record in order to win.”
The idea of seeing an athlete compete at such a high level is beyond exciting. Although we don’t know yet if a new world record will be set, it sounds very likely that it will be. This is especially true when you consider what Haywood said about surprises. “Probably the biggest surprise from the US Olympic trials is a 17-year-old high schooler named Erriyon Knighton.He qualified second in the men's 200 m. He ran superbly throughout all the rounds and in the final. All you need to know about him is that he broke the long-standing under-20 world record set by a fellow named Usain Bolt.”
Anyone who can beat Usain Bolt sounds like a winner to us! Speaking of winners, we can also expect great things from Gabby Thomas. “She is the second fastest woman ever in the 200 m, behind only the legendary Florence Griffith-Joyner. Gabby is a tremendous competitor who has a fascinating background as a graduate of Harvard who majored in neuroscience. Since several decades earlier I went to the same college, I have to root for her! I think she has a very good chance of winning two or even three gold medals, in the 200 and possibly in the 4x400 and 4x100 relays.”
Another woman who is expected to rock the races is Allyson Felix. She will be competing in her fifth consecutive Olympic Games. At the age of 35, you’d expect Felix to begin slowing down. However, she’s running faster this year than she did in 2004. We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on her performance.
Finally, we asked Haywood’s opinion of Sha’Carri Richardson. “By not having her run, they (the U.S. team) lose the equivalent of about 10 feet in the race, which is not a smart thing to do if you want to have a good chance of winning against a stacked Jamaican 4x100 team.” In other words, don’t expect the U.S. team to come first in that particular race. Depending on your point of view, this may be an acceptable outcome, or it could be a grave injustice. Either way, let’s see how many Track & Field medals the U.S. team picks up overall.
Kick Back with the Olympic Games
We’ll all be watching to see who takes the gold! The official start of the Olympic Games is at 7 a.m. ET on Friday, July 23. There will be a repeat of the opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to tune in, and make sure you’re wearing your TRUEENERGY ® socks!