Written and media by Andrew Sharp.
When you think about track and field, what do you think of? If you are like most of the population, you might think about people running around in circles and trying to beat one another for a medal or trophy. But what is track and field to the athletes in the sport? Most of them would laugh at the idea that track and field is just running around in circles; they would say that it is so much more than that, and they would love to sit and talk to you about what it really is.
The first thing that you have to do to actually realize what track and field is all about is to take everything that you have heard and ask about it. You should never make an assumption based on what other people tell you. The sport is something that can be very interesting to watch and to learn about firsthand. The amount of work and preparation that goes into being able to run fast and succeed in select events could be baffling to some. Some say that track and field athletes are the hardest working athletes on the planet, due to the fact that they are literally doing what every other sport hates to do. Running and lifting is not for the faint of heart; it takes hours of hard work and dedication.
Track and field is a simple concept that most can confuse; it is made up of different teams submitting athletes to certain areas of running and strength to see who can have the furthest or fastest mark in that event. The great part about track and field is the ability for most people to participate; you do not have to be fast to participate. It is one of the most-viewed sports in the world today and something that everyone can get involved in!
One of the most understood things about track and field is the field part. Not everyone realizes that field is a huge part of a successful track meet. The field events of a meet are comprised of eight different events, all of which require athletes to specialize and become very efficient in that specific event. It can be very easy to overlook the field events because they are not always around the track, and this makes it hard for people to see and appreciate runners as much as they do the track.
Track and field is one of the oldest sporting contests still around today. In the first thirteen Olympic festivals, track and field was the only sport that was being held. From that track and field has stood the test of time and grown into a huge part of the Olympics today. The Olympics had an average rating of 27.5 million viewers throughout the 15-day competition, and of the nearly ten seconds of his 100-meter dash, Usain Bolt had 35 million viewers (variety.com). That is nearly 10 million more viewers than average who watched the entire Olympic games for a 15 day period. In a 1034 adult survey, track and field was tied as the event which was the third most anticipated, a total of 81% wanting to watch track and field.
Needless to say, track and field is a popular sport and is largely viewed by most audiences. Give it a chance, and you might find yourself running around a track someday!