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Visitors travel across borders to attend U.S. Track and Field Trials

The group Sabroso, made up dancers in the West African Cultural Arts Institute, perform at the fan fest outside Hayward Field. Photo by August Frank, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. - It may come as a surprise, but visitors from beyond the borders of the USA are here enjoying these trials. Many international fans can't get enough of American Track and Field. It's unbelievable how far people will travel to be a part of the U.S. Olympic Trials. One visitor from Italy said the way the U.S. picks its Olympians is very interesting.

"Because in Italy we don't have like a trial to decide the team for the Olympics games," said Federaco Battestella.

And after watching several competitions:

"It's better this than the Italian one," said Battestella.

A couple from Canada is here walking down memory lane.

"I was the 1978 Irish decathlon champion, so I'm trying to re-live my youth vicariously through the U.S. Track and Field Trials," said Eddie Williams.

Williams said he's also a fan of Ashton Eaton.

"And he's married to a Canadian lady who is a heptathlon."

The couple said compared to other countries, the U.S. Olympic Trials are top notch. But it's nice to have a common bond.

"We met a lot of people from different parts of the states and it's like a common language, we speak the statistics."

Because one of the best parts of these trials is meeting new people.

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