In the spring of 2018, the United States Olympic Committee announced a plan to add a track meet in the Olympics to showcase the sport of track.
But as the sport evolved in recent years, it had also become an increasingly controversial and polarizing topic.
A large portion of Americans support the Olympic program, and a new study published in the journal American Psychologist found that, over the course of 20 years, the Olympic track program led to negative consequences for some of the athletes, including lower self-esteem, depression and decreased self-confidence.
In a 2016 interview with NBC’s Today show, then-athlete Amanda Leighton said that in the midst of all the controversy surrounding track, the program was still important to her.
The track meets are part of the U.S. Olympic program and they’re a very important part of our national heritage, she said.
I feel like I’m really part of it, I feel part of a tradition.
I don’t feel like the track is being pushed aside, she added.
Track and field, which is often considered to be the pinnacle of the sport, is a sport in which the body is in constant motion, and its very important that people can feel like they’re moving, Leighton told Today.
Leighton was among the first to endorse the idea of adding a track meeting to the 2020 Summer Games.
As an athlete, Leightings involvement in the sport was not just about getting to the Olympics, she told Today, but also to make a difference in people’s lives.
“It was about bringing people together,” she said, “to inspire people.”
But as Leighton noted, many athletes do not agree with the idea that the track meet should be part of Olympic history.
As a result, some athletes have expressed concern that a track meets would devalue track, or the sport.
“A lot of athletes feel that they are being left out of the Olympic experience,” said David Lebow, a professor of sport psychology at Rutgers University.
“When I hear a woman or a young person say, ‘I don’t think a track is part of history,’ I don, I don of course feel that way.”
Some athletes have also criticized the track program as a form of segregation.
While many athletes are part-timers, Lebow pointed out that many athletes train at facilities in New Jersey, where the U,S.
track team also has a facility.
“I think it’s kind of ironic that they have a facility in New York City, but they don’t have a track program,” he said.
“That is kind of problematic.”
Lebow and other critics also argue that the program would create a hostile environment for many women, especially when it comes to the idea.
Lebow noted that track and field is not the only women’s sport where women compete, as women also compete in gymnastics and diving, among other sports.
“They’re all mixed martial arts,” Lebow said.
In the past, women have struggled with discrimination in track, but in the modern era, LeBow said, women are still not treated equally.
“There are a lot of people that are very concerned that the Olympic movement is going to be segregated,” he told Today’s Matt Lauer.
LeBow added that the sport could also have negative effects on some athletes, who are generally considered the most talented in the world, even when they compete against lesser athletes.
“Some of the top guys in the country don’t compete in track,” LeBow noted.
“If they were, you wouldn’t have all the great athletes coming in and competing against the best of the best.”
While some athletes support the track meets, others feel the events should not be part a modern Olympic history, Lebows thoughts were echoed by others.
“Track is one of the only two things I’ve ever competed in where I’ve actually felt like I’ve been put in a position where I can’t make the best decision,” said Katie Ritchie, a professional runner who is part-time at the Olympic Training Center in California.
“But I think it would be kind of a sad statement to be doing it in 2020, and not to be able to compete against the greats of the world.”
LeBow and Ritchie both said they think the track and fields program is important, but the fact that the U.,S.
did not include track in the 2020 Olympic program highlights the importance of bringing more women into the sport and improving the conditions for them.
“The fact that track has never been part of an Olympic program is something that is not lost on me,” Ritchie said.
LeBow agreed that the athletes should be included in the history of the track event.
“Women’s track is a very unique sport,” she told NBC.
“We should not exclude it, we should be a part of this history.
I think that’s what we should do.”