Wednesday, February 28

Rooms at 8,000 euros per night, problems with visas and other abuses in the World Cup


The lack of hotel supply triggers the abuses in a championship where several African athletes will arrive just to compete for Trump politics.

The iconic Hayward Field, stadium that hosts the World Athletics ChampionshipsEFE

Prefontaine, ‘Pre’, everywhere in Eugene, ‘Pre’, ‘Pre’, ‘Pre’, but… who was Steve Prefontaine? The Athletics World Cup pays tribute with photos, t-shirts and even a silhouette on the obelisk that accompanies the Hayward Field stadium to a unique, charismatic and, at the same time, almost unknown runner outside the United States. Steve Prefontaine. The long-distance runner who in the 70s caused the first boom of running without winning a single medal at the Games. She did it for his image, with the mustache as an icon, he did it for his character and he did it for Nike, the company he inspired.

Legend has it that his coach here at the University of Oregon bill bowerman, I made him some slippers by putting rubber in his wife’s waffle maker and that’s how the brand was born. ‘Pre’, ‘Pre’, ‘Pre’. In 1975, at the age of 24, he died in a traffic accident and that raised his legend. Here in Eugene, where he studied, the tourist attractions today are the road where he trained and the stone where he killed himself, always with a title on the front: Prefontaine, four-time NCAA winner.

The NCAA, the college league, of little importance outside the borders, but essential in the United States, more so these days. The World Cup actually It looks like a college competition. On campus, the stars are divided among four former editions attached to the stadium and the matches are continuous in the canteen at lunchtime.

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no frills

cross the italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs and the Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm, for example, and everyone goes their own way between pasta, salad and ramen buffets and screens where the NBA Summer League can be followed. Despite the lack of luxuries in the rooms -many athletes celebrated having their own bathroom while others had to settle for a single bed and a wardrobe-, it is a very comfortable championship for its protagonists due to the proximity of the facilities and very uncomfortable for the participants. fans, who will be 100% local.

Getting to little Eugene is an odyssey from Europe or Asia and even from nearby Portland, which requires three hours of traffic jam on a highway that is a straight line. And besides, the lack of hotel offer has driven prices to madness. A room in one of the few establishments in the city? 8,000 euros per night. A tent in the garden of a house? 200 euros per night. There have been many abuses to those fans who wanted to come, not to mention relatives and friends of athletes who also appreciated being in the stands. be impossible In fact, depending on where they are from, hopefully your athlete will be able to participate.

Because, although the championship is important for the United States -the first World Cup-, the restrictions decreed by the Government of donald trump are still in force and have overly complicated lThe arrival of some athletes from Africa and the Middle East. So much so that there has been criticism of the organization for devaluing the competition, especially one of the star events, the 100 meters.

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Far from the stereotype

In recent times, a curious phenomenon is taking place in the hectometer: several African countries, such as Kenya or Ghana, have begun to export sprinters capable of lower than 10 seconds, a novelty. Perhaps the future is in their legs, there is expectation for their abilities, but in this World Cup it is possible that they will be silenced. The greatest exponent of this phenomenon, the Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyalaa sprinter very strong, far from the stereotype set by long-distance runners in his country, with a time of 9.85 seconds this year, he received his visa at the very last minute and arrived just in time to get dressed and run. Its performance is unknown.

Something similar happened to a Syrian high jumper Madj Eddin Ghazalthe best african sprinter, the ivory Marie Jose Ta Louand even the Spanish coach Asier Martinez, Franois Beoringyan, born in El Chad, with a French passport, who came by a hair to see his pupil. This is the United States for good, that college athletic tradition represented by Prefontaine, and for bad, that racism so ingrained in its streets and on its borders.

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