Most Americans follow team sports more closely than T & F, and major events, Penn Relays,Melrose Games, the Mobil's aren't as popular or common on US t.v. as they were 25 years ago. Most only follow track during the Olympics. Having said that, most Americans are almost in shock when I tell them my favorite sport is athletics,or that the Olympic 4 x 100 mens and womens relay thrill me more than the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, or a heavyweight title fight.
Lewis, Jamaica's Ottey,Ashford,Nehemiah,Devers should be as vaunted in U.S. as M. Jordan and Barry Bonds.