Beyond the Finish Line: 2021 Stories

2021 Beyond the Finish Line

What's Your 2021? 

At the City of Eugene, there has been a lot of talk about how the IAAF World Championships Oregon21 present our community with an incredibly unique opportunity to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world and to, in fact, Inspire The World. Knowing that, we are taking the opportunity to ask ourselves, "What does 2021 mean for you?" The answers we have received are not only inspiring, they are engaging, creative, and real. Read more about the people in our organization who are taking this idea and making a difference.

Sarah Medary, Public Works Director

“A few weeks ago, I announced I was going to give 2,021 high fives before 2021. I honestly have no idea how long it will take…it could be a month. There are a couple of reasons why I spontaneously decided this was a great idea and started walking around with my hand in the air.

First, I want to inspire you to engage with 2021 in whatever form makes sense to you. You’re already hearing about some really amazing projects, like the 20x21 EUG mural project. And, you’re going to keep hearing about more­­ visionary ways our City 

Public Works Director Sarah Medary gives City Manager Jon Ruiz a high five.

organization is working to #InspireTheWorld. Not every effort has to be printed in the Register Guard to make an impact on you or your teams. I’m going to give out 2,021 more high fives than I would have had I not been inspired to just pick something. I have more high fives to give than the City has employees, which means a lot of gratitude is spreading around. What about 2,021 cannonballs at the pool? The possibilities are endless.

More importantly, giving a high five, fist bump or other light touch is proven to reduce stress and is associated with high performing teams. Players and teams that physically connect tend to be the teams that are performing at a higher level. You can read more about that here or watch a two-minute video with the researcher here. One of the facts that impacted me was learning that ‘a sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long…’. It’s a great reminder that the small things really matter. Together, we can make each other’s lives better, and have some fun along the way. I still have 1,991 to go.’”


What inspires you to engage with 2021? Reach out with an idea, to chat about a potential project, or to brainstorm a new way to collaborate. We can do great things together!