Drake Doing What It Takes for Olympics - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Drake Doing What It Takes for Olympics

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by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

The top track athletes around the country have converged on the Drake campus for the USA Track and Field Championships.

The goal is to bring the 2020 Track and Field Olympic Trials to Drake Stadium, but a few things need to happen first.
 
When the stadium on Forest Ave. was remodeled the promise was for big time track and field events every year.
 
"Since 2007 we've not stopped.  Every year there's been some type of national championship of some caliber," says Brian Brown, member of the Olympic Organizing Committee and Drake Relays Director.

But the future of the stadium could be placed in something it doesn't have yet.  Athletes need a warm up facility.

"We have already got the drawings and already got the approval from out board of trustees.  there's funds being raised to go towards it," says Brown.

Now athletes warm up on rolled out blue track surface called mondo.  It covers a parking lot behind the stadium.

Until there's an official place for the crucial warm up stage, the hopes remain a dream.

"Once that is complete, once we have the shovel in the ground, I think the community will take note that actually this is a very serious endeavor," says Brown.

But above all, Drake University and the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau need to work together and put butts in seats surrounding the track.

The athletes know it.
 
"They're doing their best to get the Olympic trials but the main thing to get is they have to have a packed stadium," says track athlete Lolo Jones.

The local organizing committee stands hopeful.

"So we're ready to do it from a leadership stand point but we need our community, we need our fans and I think we'll get'em," says Brown.

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