A Message from the President/Chair
It is hard to believe that 2012 is already coming to a close. For the people who keep USA Track & Field running and thriving on a daily basis, that means the 2012 Annual Meeting in Daytona, Florida, is just around the corner.
It seems that in the autumn of every Olympic year, I find myself wondering where the year went. And even as Olympic years go, 2012 was especially eventful. January saw our first combined men’s and women’s Olympic Trials for the marathon in Houston, a hugely successful event by every measure. In the spring, we announced the hiring of our CEO, Max Siegel, who has been working since his first day on revamping our business model and business structure and shoring up relationships with our stakeholders.
Of course, the summer months always provide the biggest bang for our sport. An amazing, if wet, Olympic Trials yielded a world record by Ashton Eaton and a powerful Olympic team. Also of note is that the 2012 Olympic Trials brought together legends, alumni and officials in new and innovative ways that united our USATF family at our biggest event.
The summer saw incredible competition in our ranks as our largest Junior Olympics took place in Baltimore, seeing more than 8,000 kids and their families descend on Morgan State University. The result was 21 new records set at the meet. In the masters community, Bob Lida was selected as the WMA male masters athlete of the year. Bob’s year included two world records at our USA Masters Outdoor Championships, in the M75 100 and 200.
You might accuse me of being a broken record, but I have to point out that none of our national championships, including the Olympic Trials, Junior Olympics, Masters Championships, and everything in between, can take place without the time and dedication of our officials, volunteers and coaches – as well as our incomparable athletes.
I don’t need to remind anyone of the phenomenal performances of our athletes at the Olympic Games in London. What a Games! In our best performance since 1992, we won 29 medals and dominated the team point standings. Watching Carmelita Jeter cross the finish line in the women’s 4x100 to smash the world record is something I will never forget. American athletes weren’t done with their record-setting, though. Aries Merritt closed out an amazing year by breaking the WR in the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
I have to stop and catch my breath thinking about all of these accomplishments. We all have just enough time to recuperate before the Annual Meeting, which runs November 28 through December 2 in Daytona. 2012 is an election year, which means it is a chance for our members’ voices to truly be heard. Given how big 2012 was for so many in our organization, I trust the celebratory aspect of the Annual Meeting – including the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and a celebrity golf outing – will be as memorable as the nose-to-the-grindstone business that will be conducted by our committees and Board of Directors.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to register for the Annual Meeting at http://usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2012/USATF-Annual-Meeting.aspx . Until then, relax, refresh and remember a great year!