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Security for Oregon22 competition seeks to balance safety and ease

The 2022 World Athletics Championships will kick off in just over a week. It will be happening at a time when concerns are high for safety at large gatherings.

EUGENE, Ore. — It takes a lot to put together an event like the 2022 World Athletics Championships, which will soon take over the University of Oregon campus, Eugene and the surrounding area. It will be happening at a time when concerns are high for safety at large gatherings.

The world's top track and field athletes will descend on Hayward Field for the championships, along with many thousands of fans.

The first priority for Oregon22 is putting on a safe and enjoyable event. If you are coming to Eugene, expect security to be tight, but not overbearing.

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Andre Le Duc leads the University of Oregon’s Safety and Risk Services as chief resiliency officer and serves as chair of the Oregon22 public safety committee. The U of O is working with Oregon22 to facilitate and coordinate security on campus.

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. But the obvious security will be in place when you first arrive at Hayward Field, just like any other big event that draws tens of thousands of people.

“We do have scanning security that's like magnetometers, similar to what you see in airports; so everybody going into the venue will need to go through those monitors and that's where the big part is, again, knowing what you can and cannot bring into the venue,” said Le Duc.

All the rules, like the clear bag policy, are spelled out on the World Athletics website. Security leaders hope you will look it over and "know before you go." They also remind spectators to help with safety; so if you see something, say something.

Oregon22 is going to be a spectacular 10 days. World Athletics Championship events will be broadcast around the world to more than a billion people watching.

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The FBI is watching too, and bringing its ability to monitor for threats from near and far.

“Right now, we have zero intelligence to indicate anything but a safe and enjoyable time while these athletes are here being hosted at the University of Oregon,” said Kieran Ramsey, FBI special agent in charge for Oregon.

It's all part of planning that started last August. And now that the event is here, the collaboration continues.

“I'm feeling comfortable, [and] part of that is the partnerships that we have at all levels; at the local, county, state and federal, that this is a team sport,” said Le Duc.

“We're excited to get started and have athletes here, our broadcast and media here, our volunteers here, and just put on a championships that's going to be the best of all worlds,” said Sarah Massey, CEO of Oregon22.

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