Reflecting on the 2023 World Athletics Championships

By Kyle Merber

August 30, 2023

As you have probably realized by now, I love track and field.

I also love porterhouse steak, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day for nine days straight. My personal feelings about shortening the World Championships remain steadfast – especially because I have an almost two-year-old waiting for me at home. As I sit to write this newsletter on my plane ride back to New York, I keep pausing to watch videos of my daughter. Fear of missing out on precious moments aside, even when she’s old enough for me to drag her along to her first global championship, I’d imagine nine days will still feel like a lifetime.

And that’s coming off of a truly incredible world championship meet! While much was made in the lead-up about the long list of athletes who were pulling out, they ultimately were not missed much. I say that respectfully, and with hopes of past champions’ eventual return, but the product that was out on the track received the fans’ undivided attention. The consensus is that this was a special edition with great crowds, an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm, intriguing storylines, and memorable races.

We American fans will – naturally – become pessimistic about the state of the sport whenever we struggle to fill stadiums domestically, but after touching grass sitting through a major meet in Europe, I feel reinvigorated about the sport’s health, globally.

Throughout the course of my time in Budapest, I could not stop thinking about how much better off we would all be if there were similar opportunities to cover and follow the sport with comparable intensity at other points throughout the year.

There were too many fantastic performances last week to write about here – if you want a daily blow-by-blow of the action from Worlds, check out David Melly’s excellent recaps on the CITIUS homepage – but I did my best to dissect and dive deeper on a handful of moments that really stood out to me.

Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.