EUGENE - The London Olympic games are now less than four months away and for the stars of U.S. track and field, the road to London goes through Eugene.
“I’m thrilled about the Olympic trials being back in Eugene,” says Galen Rupp, who is running in the 10,000 Meters.
The former Oregon standout was on hand at Niketown in downtown Portland on Thursday afternoon to help promote the trials.
Ducks Track Coach Vin Lananna was also there, along with World Champion High Jumper Jesse Williams and Javelin Thrower Cyrus Hostetler.
Rupp grew up in Portland and was a star for the Ducks track team and is competing in the 10 thousand meters.
“It’s going to be a big home-field advantage,” says Rupp about the trials, which start June 22nd at historic Hayward Field, “I’ll have a lot of friends and family there cheering me on. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Rupp turns 26 next month and in February, he set a new American record in the two-mile. He also holds the American record in the 10,000 meters.
“Training is going well,” says Rupp. “I ran in the World Indoor Championships a few weeks ago and took a week off after that, so I’m recharged and ready to go.”
Four years ago, Galen ran the 10-thousand meters in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing finishing 13th. It was something he’ll always remember and he says it’s something to learn from as well.
“Competing in Beijing was a huge boost,” says Rupp, “I think it’s great to get that experience and your first time at the Olympics. It’s always kind of an eye opening experience going to opening ceremonies and competing in such a big stadium with so many people cheering you on. So, it’s great having that under my belt. I’ll be able to draw on that for sure this summer, God willing, I make the team."
The United States hasn’t won an Olympic Medal in the men’s 10-thousand meters since Billy Mills took gold back in 1964, Maybe Rupp can change that this season.
“God willing, things will go really well,” says Galen, “I’ve got a great coach, I’ve got great teammates, the pieces are all in place so hopefully, this might be the year that we can break that drought.”
A limited quantity of single-session tickets for the 8 day trials will go on sale on Friday, April 6th, 2012. More: Trials tickets on sale