Post-race celebrations will never be the same
In the wake of establishment-rattling moments of celebration, such as Emma Coburn’s shoes going rogue and appearing over her shoulders after she medaled in the 3,000m Steeplechase, the IOC and IAAF have come up with a way to prevent that in the future while also simultaneously increasing revenue.
According to an IOC press release, there will be a ‘time out’ immediately after any finals race to spread a layer of 1/4 spikes on the track. “Athletes are welcome to jog about without their shoes on, but we wouldn’t recommend it.” Once the track is clear of all revelry, the clean up crews will commence to gather up all the spikes and get them ready for the next final.
“The added TV commercial time will allow us to enhance our ad space revenue by as much as 300%,” added IOC communications VP Joque Stirrap. “Our market research shows that people in attendance would enjoy the built-in breaks, as we’re sure there are plenty of Pokemon to catch at major track venues around the world.”
This seems like a clear case of the IOC and IAAF trying to nip a problem in the bud. Shortly after Coburn paraded around her flashy non-Nike spikes (aka New Balance), Jenny Simpson did the same after her bronze medal winning race.
“We’d be doing the athletes a huge disservice to not act here. What if Jenny Simpson contracted some type of foot fungus from prancing around lane 8 barefoot? It would be horrible, and also very sad because it could’ve been avoided,” said Leonard Spotswood (IAAF fungal expert).
But that’s at best a thinly-veiled attempt at protecting the marketing investment that their chief sponsors have made. In fact, expect this to trickle down to major meets across the globe, on both an international and national scale. Since the IAAF partnered up with the IOC on this new rule, you can expect other major federations such as the USATF to adopt similar practices at their prime events.
What does this mean for viewers both in the stands and at home? Be prepared to hear the announcers say something along the lines of ‘Everyone get psyched up as Nike presents spiked up. We’ll take a quick commercial break as the spike girls do their thing.’
Oh, be afraid. But for now, appreciate the efforts made by the runners to show some love for their sponsors, who played a big part in getting them there.