Six foreign BMX federations were inviting to the USOC Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Californian from June 30 to July 12 to prepare for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The six foreign BMX countries included Argentina, Australia, Canada, Columbia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The group included the world's best BMX athletes with the likes of the UCI women's world number # 1, Sarah Walker from New Zealand and the men's world number # 2, Jared Graves from Australia.
The U.S. Olympic BMX team was also at the OTC during the 12 days and most of them took part in the open group track sessions which where held later in the week. The open group sessions were inserted after all the team managers made the request after the warmer than normal heat and breezy winds which picks up mid morning. All of the foreign athletes used the weight room, the AT&T athlete center, crit course for sprints, and all raved about the great dining hall.
On the last day of the camp, Canada held a simple race off with some mock heat races with Scott Erwood and Jimmy Brown to determine the sole male Olympic spot. The race was won by Scott Erwood of British Columbia and he posted some impressive track times.
However, with all the good comes the bad. We saw some minor injuries from two athletes during the camp. Belen Dutto of Argentina, who is also deaf, had a fall over the first double jump and was admitted to the local hospital for head abrasions along with a minor concussion. The Netherlands top male rider, Robert DeWild had a similar crash on the last day of the camp in the afternoon which saw Robert get sideways over the second strait step jump. The crash resulted in a concussion and he was also sent to the hospital for overnight observations.
With all that said, the replica Beijing BMX track is by far the best BMX facility in the entire world and these foreign athletes would all agree. Everyone was very gracious and thankful for the opportunity and I believe USA Cycling was a terrific host. I look forward to hosting them in the future.