Angela Anderson’s sons Elliott and Hudson have never been on a BMX racing track before.
“They’ve never done anything like this so they’re having a great time,” Anderson tells NBC 7. “What a great thing for the community.” She says her boys bike a little bit, but they had no idea they could just come out to the track, grab a helmet and go.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has opted out of owning and operating the training center, but promises to still provide a large part of the $8 million annual operating budget in the form of rent for its athletes.
To celebrate the name and ownership change, the city hosted a “Celebration of Champions” Saturday so the public could use the center’s facilities, including the archery range and parts of the BMX track.
Now that the City of Chula Vista owns the center, San Diegans will have access to the facility year-round.
“I just did BMX biking and I’m scared,” Jerry Quijencio, who came out to the event Saturday, jokes. “I’m shaking right now.”
Deputy District Attorney, Kelley Bacon, anticipates the facility will have a pool and gymnasium within the next 5 years. Bacon headed the transition from the USOC to the City.
Chula Vista resident Nicole Enriquez says it will be a good opportunity for her son to try archery and rowing.
“It’s opportunities for archery. My son has done it before I don’t know how many opportunities kids have to do events like that,” she says. “Rowing, they have the reservoir right here. We see people practicing. So all kinds of things they wouldn’t be exposed to if they didn’t have this center here.”
Angela Anderson believes her 10 and 11-year-old sons will soon realize how lucky they are.
“I think as they get older they will really appreciate that they were able to go and be where Olympians are and how incredible that is, because it’s not something that’s common,” she says.