On Tuesday night in Tokyo, I went to the Olympic Stadium for track and field for the first time and was reminded that nothing feels so Olympian.
There is a purity to these events that eludes many others. Track measures the units of the Olympic creed — faster, higher, stronger. If the runner in the next lane is faster than you, you can't foul and hope she misses her free throws.The medals are not determined by judges. And while many Olympic events are held in small or strange venues, track, because of its nature, is held in a large stadium.
There is scope and grandeur. And there is pure speed on display.
If you had to eliminate all Olympic events but one, you'd want to save the 100-meter dash, the purest test of pure athletic ability.
It's strange without fans, but not as strange as you might think. There is enough random noise in the stadium that I can't imagine any athlete feeling uninspired.