CHULA VISTA OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER: BMX Super-Cross Track Opens on January 21

Jan. 15, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

For Immediate Release January 15, 2008 BMX Cycling Super-Cross Track Completed at Olympic Training Center; Ready for High-Energy Action and Competitions Event Exhibition , Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Set for Monday, January 21 CHULA VISTA, Calif.- Amazing awaits at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista as the facility opens its doors to the newest Olympic event, BMX racing. Excitement surrounds the training center as the BMX athletes have arrived, ready to hit the track to train for the 2008 Olympic Games. The 2008 Olympic Games will be the first for all BMX Cycling athletes, as the sport makes its Olympic Games debut in Beijing this August. The BMX track in Chula Vista is the only permanent super-cross structure in the nation. Completed in January, the brand new BMX Super-Cross track will offer training and competition grounds for BMX athletes. The Olympic Training Center will host a BMX athlete exhibition and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, January 21. The event is open to the public and media are encouraged to attend. The Exhibition and Ribbon Cutting event will begin with Media Access at 12:00PM. Several of the top U.S. BMX riders will be available for interview and photographers will have access to course for photos. The ribbon cutting will take place at 1:00PM with athlete exhibitions on the course following shortly thereafter. Athletes in attendance will include: Men: Kyle Bennett: 2007 and 3-time World Champion, #1 ranked American Donny Robinson: 2007 US National Champion, Beijing Test Event Winner, #3 ranked American Mike Day: UCI Salt Lake Super-Cross winner, #2 ranked American Steven Cisar: UCI Super-Cross time trial winner (Madrid), #4 ranked American Women: Jill Kintner: BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion, #2 ranked American Arielle Martin: #3 ranked American Amanda Geving: #1 ranked American EVENT DETAILS: What: BMX Ribbon Cutting Ceremony When: Monday, January 21 Media Availability 12:00-1:00PM Ribbon Ceremony 1:00PM Athlete Exhibitions 1:00-1:30PM Where: U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista 2800 Olympic Parkway Chula Vista, CA 91915 For a credential, please contact Diana Wright at (619) 482-6119 or at diana.wright@usoc.org. Chula Vista Olympic Training Center BMX Course information: BMX, short for bicycle motocross, began in California during the late 1960's. A low cost action event, the sport was an instant hit and quickly spread across the country and the world. In 1981, the International BMX Federation was founded. The main hubs for BMX competition include the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America. The United States is currently #1 in both Men's and Women's BMX rankings."It's an honor to have our facility designated as the only permanent training location for BMX in the Americas,"said Tracy Lamb, Director of the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center."This addition is significant for us because it drives home our commitment to excellence in Chula Vista. We pledge to keep our training center on the cutting edge of competition for our nation's athletes. At the same time, we welcome the world's athletes who want to train and compete here."Mike King, Director of BMX Programs, oversees the resident program. A Chula Vista native, King has been active in BMX cycling since 1975. A former World Champion in both BMX and Mountain Bike, he's a member of the BMX Hall of Fame."It's an exciting opportunity for our BMX athletes to have a facility in the South Bay, which is where I grew up,"said King."This state of the art training facility was designed for our elite athletes will set the standard for other countries to follow. The goal of our facility is to replicate the Beijing track and ultimately, bring home medals from the 2008 Olympic Games."The course in Chula Vista was built by Tom Ritzenthaler, who also built the BMX venue in Beijing that will be used for competition during the Olympic Games in August. Ritzenthaler, a 33-year veteran BMX rider himself, has built dozens of BMX courses around the world, but the course in Chula Vista is the only course that replicates the super cross style course that the athletes will see in Beijing."The course is very challenging and very technical. It's almost the same course they'll see in Beijing, which is huge for the athletes,"he said."They'll be training and competing on a one-of-a-kind course and will be very comfortable with the obstacles. This course at the Training Center has an eight-meter start ramp-there are no other permanent courses with a start ramp that high in the United States."The BMX athletes are just as excited about the new course and the possibilities it offers for them as they make their own preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games. Jill Kintner, BMX and multiple 4-cross (mountain bike) World Champion, has been at the Olympic Training Center since early December. As an experienced rider, she's seen and rode on several of the world's best courses including the course in Beijing."It's going to be such an advantage having this replica track in our back yard,"she said."The Olympic Training Center has opened my eyes to what the possibilities could be towards an Olympic dream, and they have provided an incredible resource. In my normal life meeting all these different athletes and learning from those who have been to Olympics before just wouldn't have been available. This environment has plenty of positive motivation to train hard."Kintner took fifth place at an Olympic Test event on the course in Beijing. She leads the charge for the United States women in BMX Super cross and has high hopes for an Olympic medal in 2008. As athletes, spectators and fans anticipate the inaugural BMX Olympic event in Beijing, no one will be more proud than Ritzenthaler, the man who built the course in Chula Vista and has watched the sport evolve."It's like a dream come true for me,"he said."The sport gained some popularity in the early 70's and grew during the 80's, but now it's at its pinnacle-the Olympic Games. It's a great sport and it's really exciting to know it's finally going to be recognized in front of the world."UPCOMING BMX PROGRAMS: BMX Resident Program, January 6-November 30 (4 participants) - Long-term training program for top-ranked BMX riders - Participants include Mike Day, Steven Cisar, Jill Kintner and Arielle Martin Pre-Olympic BMX Identification Training Camp, January 7-18 (13 participants) - Training for BMX cycling athletes on new track For more information, please contact Diana Wright at (619) 482-6119. ###