Celebration of Champions at Elite Athlete Training Center!

Kids get a chance to practice archery at an outdoor range where Olympians train! A special activity during the Celebration of Champions event at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center!
Kids get a chance to practice archery at an outdoor range where Olympians train! A special activity during the Celebration of Champions event at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center!

For 23 years the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista has been utilized by hundreds of Team USA athletes. It has now transfered ownership from the United States Olympic Committee to the City of Chula Vista. Although the large 155-acre facility is now called the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, it remains one of the most important U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training sites. And now non-Olympic athletes, including people who live in the community, will have a chance to develop their sporting skills here, too!

Today, a fun Celebration of Champions event was held to showcase this state-of-the-art facility to the public, and to honor local achievers. I’d never visited the place, so of course I had to go check it out!

And I took some photos! As usual, read the captions!

The colorful driveway into the 155-acre Elite Athlete Training Center complex includes graphics depicting many different Olympic sports.
The colorful driveway into the 155-acre Elite Athlete Training Center complex includes graphics depicting many different Olympic sports.
The state-of-the-art facilities at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center are located in the Eastlake community.
The state-of-the-art facilities at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center are located in the Eastlake community.
Folks enter the Copley Visitor Center area to enjoy a special celebration. The 22-year-old Olympic Training Center officially becomes the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center!
Folks enter the Copley Visitor Center courtyard to enjoy a special celebration. The 23 year old Olympic Training Center today officially becomes the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center!
While the adults checked out event tents, kids were playing with soccer balls on the nearby grass. Perhaps some of these youth will one day be Olympic athletes!
While the adults checked out event tents, kids were playing with soccer balls on the nearby grass. Perhaps some of these youth will one day be Olympic medal winners!
People sign up for a special tour of the elite athlete training complex, which includes grass fields, an indoor and outdoor archery range, a BMX track, and more. Future plans include a gymnasium and pool.
People sign up for a special tour of the elite athlete training complex, which includes grass fields, an indoor and outdoor archery range, a BMX track, and more. Future plans include a gymnasium and pool.
One of two cool bronze sculptures near the main door to the Visitor Center. This male Olympic athlete might be a wrestler.
One of two cool bronze sculptures near the main door to the Visitor Center. This male Olympic athlete appears to be a wrestler.
The other bronze sculpture appears to be a female Olympic swimmer or diver.
The other bronze sculpture appears to be a female Olympic swimmer or diver.
A large Olympic flame is alit in the circular courtyard in front of the Visitor Center. Many tents were set up by community organizations for the special event.
A large Olympic flame is blazing in the circular courtyard in front of the Visitor Center. Many outdoor booths were set up by various community organizations for the special event.
Perhaps a future athlete will wear this baby clothing. Team USA had lots of cool stuff for sale.
Perhaps a future athlete will wear this baby clothing. Team USA had lots of cool stuff for sale.
Several plaques were arranged around the courtyard. This one lists all the host cities of the Olympic Games--both Summer and Winter.
Several plaques are arranged around the courtyard. This one lists all the host cities of the Olympic Games–both Summer and Winter.
Sign describes in detail how host cities are chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Click image to enlarge.)
Sign describes in detail how host cities are chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Click image to enlarge.)
The history of the Paralympic movement is described on this sign. Sport for athletes with an impairment has existed for more than 100 years.
The history of the Paralympic movement is described on this sign. Sport for athletes with an impairment has existed for more than 100 years.
People slowly converge on an outdoor stage where a ceremony will celebrate the transfer of ownership of this training complex from the United States Olympic Committee to the City of Chula Vista.
People slowly converge on an outdoor stage where a ceremony will celebrate the transfer of ownership of this training complex from the United States Olympic Committee to the City of Chula Vista.
I spotted this plaque while heading to join the audience.
I spotted this plaque while heading over to join the audience.
Ernest W. Hahn, 1919-1992. Visionary developer and philanthropist whose tireless efforts to fund and build the ARCO Training Center will inspire athletes from across America to pursue their Olympic dreams.
Ernest W. Hahn, 1919-1992. Visionary developer and philanthropist whose tireless efforts to fund and build the ARCO Training Center will inspire athletes from across America to pursue their Olympic dreams.
While I had a chance, I should have headed over to take pics of the kids trying out the BMX track. You can see them in the distance.
While I had a chance, I should have headed over to take pics of the kids trying out the super awesome Olympic-level BMX track. You can see them with their bikes in the distance.
Everyone prepares for the ceremony, which will also honor local champions! Those are the champions assembled to the right!
Everyone prepares for the big ceremony, which will also honor local champions! Those are the champions assembled to the right!
Chula Vista mayor Mary Salas kicks off speeches by gathered dignitaries.
Chula Vista mayor Mary Salas kicks off speeches by gathered dignitaries.
Nearby on the grass, these kids were more interested in sports. Talk is cheap--action is what matters!
Nearby on the grass, these kids were more interested in sports. Talk is cheap–action is what matters!
Representative from the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs speaks a few words. This training center in San Diego is used by a very large number of Team USA Olympians.
Representative from the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs speaks a few words. This training center in San Diego is used by a very large number of Team USA Olympians.
To symbolize the transfer of the complex to the city of Chula Vista, a Paralympic track and field athlete who has won numerous medals carries a torch onto the stage!
To symbolize the transfer of the complex to the city of Chula Vista, a Paralympic track and field athlete who has won numerous medals carries a torch onto the stage!
These walkers were recognized as champions during the ceremony!
These walkers in the audience were recognized as champions during the ceremony!
Many champions from San Diego's South Bay head up onto the stage to be honored and given a medal by the mayor. Some excel in sports; others are teachers, coaches, community leaders, artists...
Many champions from San Diego’s South Bay head up onto the stage to be honored and given a medal by the mayor. Some excel in sports; others are teachers, coaches, community leaders, law enforcement officers, artists…
About halfway through the ceremony, I snuck off to check out the Visitor Center while few people were inside.
About halfway through the ceremony, I sneaked off to check out the Visitor Center while few people were inside.
Huge graphics greet visitors inside the front door. The Chula Vista Olympic Training Center is dedicated to the development of America's future elite athletes.
Huge graphics greet visitors inside the front door. The Chula Vista Olympic Training Center is dedicated to the development of America’s future elite athletes.
Today's training center has sport venues and facilities for archery, beach volleyball, BMX, canoe and kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, rugby, soccer, tennis, and track and field!
Today’s training center has sport venues and facilities for archery, beach volleyball, BMX, canoe and kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, rugby, soccer, tennis, plus track and field!
Several displays inside the Visitor Center include a video of great Olympic athletic performances.
Several displays inside the Visitor Center include a video of great Olympic athletic performances.
A cool exhibit devoted to David Wagner, who plays Wheelchair Tennis. He is a champion at his sport!
A cool exhibit devoted to David Wagner, who plays Wheelchair Tennis. He is a champion at his sport!
After the ceremony I walked around. I regret now that I didn't sign up to take a tour. Here's the BMX track. Looks like a bumpy ride!
After the ceremony I walked around. I regret now that I didn’t sign up to take a tour. Here’s the BMX track. Looks like a bumpy ride!
Here's one of the grass fields. It appears to be used for rugby, field hockey or soccer.
Here’s one of the grass fields. It appears to be used for rugby, field hockey or soccer.
I was drawn toward the archery range, which was so cool I'm going to blog about it next! Here's some outdoor action during the event.
I was drawn toward the archery range, which was so cool I’m going to blog about it next! Here’s some outdoor action during the event.
Walking toward the archery complex, I saw this inspirational quote concerning the Olympic Path by Conrad Hilton. Life's journey is worthwhile. Choose a meaningful path.
Walking toward the archery complex, I saw this inspirational quote concerning the Olympic Path by Conrad Hilton. Life’s journey is worthwhile. Choose a meaningful path.
Kids try their hand at archery at the Celebration of Champions event at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista!
Kids try their hand at archery at the Celebration of Champions event at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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