Saturday, June 7, 2008

Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, CA

Looking for tourist stuff to do in San Diego we stumbled across the fact that there is an Olympic Training Facility in Chula Vista. So off we went...
We were hoping that since the Olympics are being held in August, that the facility would be buzzing with activity. Unfortunately that was not the case but the visit was still well worth our time.

This year-round, warm-weather facility, opened in 1995, has venues for the sports of track and field, softball, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, soccer, archery and rowing.

The facility is 150 acres and include training fields and tracks, athlete dorms, and Otay Lake Reservoir. The tour was free (free is always good) and surprisingly our tour guides were not only olympic athletes but both compete in Skeleton. What is skeleton you ask? It is like luge but face first at 80 miles an hour. Apparently these winter athletes come to Chula Vista for the summer to continue their conditioning in nice weather.

Female guide - Annie O’Shea began the sport of skeleton in November 2004 andquickly rose in international standings, claiming the 2007 America’s Cup title her first year on the national team. O’Shea claimedthe final 2007-08 World Cup spot by winning the final National Team Trials race in Park City, Utah on November 10, 2007.

Male guide - Caleb Smith competed as a luge athlete for five years before transferring his experience and knowledge of sliding to skeleton. During the 2006-07 season, Smith won his first ever World Cup medal on his home track in Lake Placid, N.Y, and finished his third season on the World Cup circuit with a 16th overall standing. Smith graduated from Plattsburgh State University in 2006 with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science
and is currently working on his B.S. in Finance.

This sure gives us someone to look for during the next winter Olympics in 2010.

The Chula Vista site has the largest permanent archery range in North America; an artificial all-weather field hockey surface; four soccer fields; a 15,000 square-foot canoe/kayak and rowing boat house; four tennis courts; a 400-meter track and six acres for field events; and an exact replica of the BMX bicycle course that will be used in Beijing.

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