Times may change, but the basic appeal of track and field endures. Track and field remains a formidable test of wills and endurance for those athletes who participate. For those who watch these athletes, track and field continues to be a thrilling spectator event.
The history of track and field is a long one. It covers centuries, hundreds of extraordinary athletes, some of the most devoted fans of any sport, and so much more. Track and field in its current form refers to something that has changed to one degree or another through the decades. Advancements in technology have led to not only better training methods, but substances that draw controversy for the potential to give an athlete an unfair advantage.
Through all of this, the basic appeal of the sport remains the same.
A Serious Look At Track And Field
Also known as athletics in various parts of the world, track and field refers to athletic contests for both males and females. These contests include running, jumping for both height/distance, or throwing for distance with an implement of standardized design. Track and field competitions are usually referred to as meets, and they generally take place outside.
Running events often occur across a portion of land that covers either 400 meters or 440 yards. All of the events associated with track and field are generally held on the same day, and in the same general area. In the event of winter or bad weather, it is not unreasonable to find a track and field event being held in the indoors. Outdoor track season in the U.S. runs from March to June. In Europe and Asia, the outdoor track season can run from March to September. The firing of a gun usually signifies the start of an event.
The history of track and field is a long, somewhat complex story. In ancient times, such as in ancient Greece, track and field events were often held at the same time as religious festivals. It makes sense that the history of track and field can be traced back to times/places like Rome around 200 B.C., Northern Europe during the Middle Ages, or in Celtic societies from around the same time. After all, running, jumping, and throwing are not only natural forms of expressing ourselves, but they are universal forms of expression, as well. Track and field events began to gain momentum as their own entity in the 19th century. The creation of the National Olympic Association in 1865 is a hallmark of the development of track and field as it is recognized today.
The Greatest Track And Field Athletes Ever
The first U.S. track and field event was held in 1876. While many fine athletes in this era competed, the sport remained closed off to women and others for a number of years. For example, it wasn’t until the 1920s that women began to compete in events throughout the world. The sport continued to grow and develop as the 20th century rolled along, gaining considerable global attention and respect through the 60s and 70s. The 1980s in particular were an extremely popular decade for track and field. Fans consisted of individuals from all walks of life. They were people who appreciated the straightforward, intense challenge of running, jumping, and throwing better than a wide field of competitors. Through the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, the sport has continued to garner attention and respect all over the world.
To be sure, the sport has also built many an icon. Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Usain Bolt, Jim Ryun, Bruce Jenner, Jim Thorpe, Wilma Rudolph, and countless others have propelled the sport to what it is today.