Temperatures of over 100° F on Sunday forced the Olympic U.S. track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, to be postponed, with one athlete having to be taken off the field in a wheelchair.
The decision was made around 3 p.m., with the track announcer asking spectators to evacuate the area, The Associated Press reports.
Taliyah Brooks, a heptathlete, was in fourth place after having competed in five of the seven events when she was wheeled off the field. She was permitted to participate in the sixth event, the javelin throw, hours later when the event resumed in the evening.
The AP notes that due to the humidity, the temperatures felt closer to 113° F by the mid-afternoon.
“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting it to be this humid,” Shelby McEwen, one of the high jump competitors said to the AP. “We just had to be mentally locked in, mentally prep ourselves for it, stay hydrated and go out and get the job done.”
A record-breaking heatwave has swept over much of the Pacific Northwest in recent days, with many locations expected to exceed their all-time record highs.
Portland has reached 112 degrees, marking the hottest day recorded since 1940. The heat has also shut down COVID-19 testing centers in Washington state and Seattle has opened more public libraries to serve as cooling areas.