Opening Ceremonies


For the first time in 30 years,
the IAAF World Indoor Championships
will be held in the U.S.

More than 600 of the world’s greatest track and field athletes,
representing 154 countries from around the globe, will participate
in the four-day (March 17-20) competition, at the Oregon Convention Center.

The meet gets off to a roaring start at 6pm on Thursday, March 17th
with the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies,
immediately followed by the thrilling men’s and women’s pole vault competition.

During the Opening Ceremonies, as you soak in the intimate atmosphere
of the 7,000-seat stadium which surrounds the dazzling new emerald green 200-meter banked oval track,
you will be treated to a variety of special activities that are outlined below.

The opening ceremony kicks off at 6pm.

March of Flags

A group of 50 children from Playworks, a non-profit organization serving
more than 15,000 students from 31 low-income schools in the greater Portland area,
will carry numerous hand flags of each participating federation into the stadium,
and distribute them to spectators.

Flag Parade

Each country taking part in the IAAF World Indoor Championships will
be officially announced as their respective flags are carried in by a local
college or high school student or Portland 2016 volunteer.

National Anthem

After the last country is announced, spectators will be asked to stand for
the playing of the US national anthem and the raising of the U.S. flag.

Welcome Messages

TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna and IAAF President
Sebastian Coe will then deliver welcome messages.
And finally, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales will declare the opening of the championships,
followed by the playing of the IAAF hymn and raising of the IAAF flag.

Immediately after the opening declaration, we will shine a spotlight on
the pole vault with special introductions for each of the 12 men’s and women’s
finalists. The men’s and women’s pole vaulters will alternate jumps on
runways situated on either side of the infield.

Just imagine France’s Renaud Lavillenie – the world record-holder at
20 feet, 2 ½ inches (6.16 meters) – taking on reigning World Champion
Shawn Barber of Canada and a host of other vaulters who have
personal bests of 19 feet or better.
It promises to be a breathtaking competition!

The women are equally poised to wow the crowd as Brazil’s
Fabiana Murer joins a deep and talented field led by a strong U.S. contingent.
No doubt, American Jenn Suhr’s current world record of
16-6 (5.03m) will be in jeopardy!

You can witness the opening session of this historic
occasion at no additional charge!

There is no admission charge for the Opening Ceremonies and
pole vault competition. Fans who bought an all-session ticket package for
the World Indoors automatically received their ticket to the festivities, while
those who purchased a single-session ticket had the option to receive
a ticket to the event.

Help us welcome the host community by bringing a non-perishable item to benefit the Oregon Food Bank!

Oregon Food Bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger and its root causes. We are excited to join forces with the Oregon Food Bank on this unique opportunity to bring a local and community feel to a world-class event. Please bring a can or two of non-perishable food to drop off with the Oregon Food Bank before entry into the Oregon Convention Center for this one-time Food Drive in conjunction with the Opening Ceremonies!

Click HERE for more information on the Oregon Food Bank.