Could Des Moines Host Olympic Trials? - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Could Des Moines Host Olympic Trials?

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Addie Olson

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The USA Track and Field Championships are being held in Des Moines for the second time in three years. Organizers are hoping the event will prove that Des Moines is capable of hosting the track and field Olympic trials.

"All eyes for track and field are on Des Moines, Iowa this weekend," said Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO and President Greg Edwards.

The USA Track and Field Championships started off Wednesday with a few junior level events. Athletes and visitors began trickling in from all over the country.

Thursday through Sunday, organizers say the stands and the city should be packed.

"I think Des Moines is ready, the metro's ready for it, we've got plenty of infrastructure in place, so it should be a great weekend," Edwards said.

They hope a big crowd during the championships will send a big message.

"We definitely want to host the Olympic trials," Edwards said.

The soonest Des Moines could put in a bid for the track and field Olympic trials is 2020. Organizers say this exposure is a chance for the metro to prove itself.

"If we can show that we can fill Drake Stadium here this weekend and show Des Moines supports these events, then our chances are going to be much greater," Edwards said.

USA Track and Field said athletes get excited about running around the famed blue oval in Drake Stadium.

"It's reminiscent of some of the more classical stadiums that you see in Europe that have been around since the 30s or 40s," said USA Track and Field spokesperson, Jill Geer. "It's a unique atmosphere in the United States in terms of what Drake Stadium brings."

As for a 2020 bid, Des Moines will have to wait and see.

"When we look at future bids, Des Moines - if they put themselves forward as a bidder - we will definitely take a look," Geer said.

They expect the stands to be packed as the senior level events kick off Thursday afternoon. They'll wrap up with the finals on Sunday.

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