Why world-class athletes have been roughing it

Designing a great experience doesn’t need to take much. Sometimes the best solutions are embarrassingly simple. Or to put it another way, there are so many experiences out there with elements that fall flat.

Here’s one from the world of athletics.

If you go to an athletics meet, athletes who haven’t automatically qualified for the next round have to wait trackside for all the following race results to know if they’ve advanced.

This isn't just the case at your local running track. It's what world-class athletes do at events like the World Championships. Yes, they hang around in the rain/heat/cold/wind, waiting.

Imagine if you’ve just given your all in a high-stakes professional event that you’ve trained months for. But then, instead of getting prepped for what’s next, you’re told to stand around for ages like a bozo?

Yeah, right. What a way to make people feel respected and valued.

So for this year’s Track World Championship, ‘The Q room’ has been introduced for athletes and their coaches. It has comfy chairs, TVs to watch the other races, stretch bands, and refreshments.

Oh, and the room also has TV cameras, so fans can get access to the inside track (sorry, I had to…) as the tension ramps up.

I can’t imagine this cost a lot to put together, but it’s just made the experience for athletes, coaches and fans miles better.

We can help but wonder where else simple and smart experience innovations like this are needed…?

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