On Thursday, Olympic gold-medalist Ashton Eaton made an appearance before the Oregon state Senate, thanking them for their support of the Olympic Trials last summer in Eugene. Eaton took the trials and London by storm last year after setting the world record and garnering gold in the decathlon. It’s not everyday Salem is graced with the presence of the world’s best athlete but even rarer for the state to call him their own with the beginnings of Eaton’s career coming from Bend and the University of Oregon.
With these ties in mind, it should come as no surprise that Eaton also took a moment to give a little love to his old stomping grounds at the University of Oregon. No, I’m not talking about the sweet gratitude he spoke of on Thursday but the dancing he led on Wednesday. It wasn’t his typical workout at Hayward Field as filming took place for a “Harlem Shake” video. Eaton donned a black helmet, starting the dance with members of the Oregon track team, and then continued with an enthusiastic, costumed handful of the UO student body.
It wasn’t just a chance for a little fun and tribute to the latest internet video craze but another chance to pay respects to Track Town, the University, and the state. It’s something of a common trend for Oregonians to keep their roots after making the big time. Phil Knight kept the Nike campus in Beaverton, Joey Harrington continues his philanthropy in Portland, and many other Beavers, Ducks, Blazers, and Olympians continue to call Oregon home. One would like to think that Eaton will follow the same trend and that perhaps deep down, he’s just another Duck and Oregonian, happy to perform one more dance at Track Town.
You can check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-biIxbL25Pw