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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Dreamlike visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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It was drizzling very lightly this morning when I stepped out my door. I walked from Cortez Hill down to Broadway, then over to Santa Fe Depot. My camera was under my umbrella.

The light was dim and uncertain, causing many photographs to come out unfocused. A few strange photographs seem to contain mysterious phantoms from some half-remembered dream.  Haunting visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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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!

Creativity, expression, and one wonderful park.

Young lady is about to get a surprise during a fun magic show in Balboa Park.
A young lady is about to get a surprise during a fun magic show in Balboa Park.

I observed many emotions today.  These emotions were expressed in the eyes and faces of people I encountered during a walk through wonderful Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is like a small slice of some ideal world: so many people coming together, sharing dreams and happy visions. A walk through the park is like all the good things in human life stirred into one potent elixir, with smiles, freedom, friendship, rampant creativity on every side, and much sunlight. And, of course, memories of special moments and of past loved ones–and, sometimes, sadness.

Kenny Shelton juggles in between magic acts. Today he tossed dizzy feelings of joy toward hundreds of people on El Prado.
Kenny Shelton juggles in between magic acts. Today he tossed dizzy feelings of joy toward hundreds of people on El Prado.

Kenny seems like a great guy. He’s definitely funny and a crowd-pleaser! Need some entertainment in San Diego?  Find him here!

The San Diego Harmony Ringers conjure bright, cheerful music in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Harmony Ringers conjure bright, cheerful music in Balboa Park.
Intense sadness near the Museum of Man, as people remember the Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea, which happened 1000 days ago. The victims' families are still searching for answers.
Intense sadness near the Museum of Man, as people remember the Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea, which happened 1000 days ago. The victims’ families are still searching for answers.
A belly dancer and musicians draw a large crowd near the Botanical Building. The audience is spellbound.
A belly dancer and musicians draw a large crowd near the Botanical Building. The audience is spellbound.
A group prays under a beautiful tree. Human hope, pain, love . . . among the dropping leaves.
A group prays under a beautiful tree. Human hope, pain, love . . . among the dropping leaves.
Creating a labyrinth in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden. This gentleman created a similar labyrinth which I photographed near the Botanical Building some time ago. If he mentioned his name, I apologize for forgetting and not writing it down.
Creating a labyrinth in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden. This gentleman created a similar labyrinth which I photographed near the Botanical Building some time ago.
I'm shown a notebook. A Native American basket on the left depicts a radiating labyrinth. Labyrinths are one very ancient human expression, filled with spiritual meaning.
I’m shown a notebook. A Native American basket on the left depicts a radiating labyrinth. Labyrinths are a very ancient human expression, filled with spiritual meaning.

To learn more about his fascinating labyrinths, please visit this Facebook page.

A canvas on El Prado asks random passersby to Paint On Me.
A canvas on El Prado asks random passersby to Paint On Me.
Dogs and people mingle, happy and free at Balboa Park's Nate's Point Dog Park.
Dogs and people mingle freely.  Sheer happiness at Balboa Park’s busy Nate’s Point Dog Park.
This musician was so joyful, he lit up many lives in this wonderful park.
This musician was so positive and so alive, he lit up countless hearts in wonderful Balboa Park.  Joy conquers.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

A cool, rarely seen mural in downtown San Diego!

This cool mural can be barely glimpsed from the corner of Fifth Avenue and B Street in downtown San Diego. It adds color and life to an outdoor patio on the 3rd floor of the Union Bank building.
This cool mural can be just glimpsed from the corner of Fifth Avenue and B Street in downtown San Diego. It adds color and life to an outdoor patio on the 3rd floor of the Union Bank building.

This fantastic mural has been seen up close by very few people. Today, with permission, I took a good look and got some photos!

If you ever stand on the west side of Fifth Avenue around B Street in downtown San Diego, and glance upward toward the Union Bank building, you might see a colorful splash in a hidden nook. That would be this mural!

It’s only two years old and utterly fantastic. Without further ado, I present to all urban art lovers: Inceptions Reflection!

Inceptions Reflection, 2014. Daniel (Maxx Moses) Hopkins, Isaias Crow, Jari "WERC" Alvarez, Chor Boogie aka Joaquin Lamar Hailey.
Inceptions Reflection, 2014. Daniel (Maxx Moses) Hopkins, Isaias Crow, Jari “WERC” Alvarez, Chor Boogie aka Joaquin Lamar Hailey.
Photo of central portion of the dynamic artwork. Unusual forms and bold colors lead the delighted eye around this little-seen urban canvas.
Photo of central portion of the dynamic artwork. Unusual forms and bold colors lead the delighted eye around this little-seen urban canvas.
A happy spherical critter with horns blows hearts from the sunlit lower right corner of this awesome mural!
A happy spherical critter with horns blows hearts from the sunlit lower right corner of this awesome mural!
A human eye behind the swirling, fantastic visions. Perhaps it is all a dream. Or the imaginative work of some very creative artists!
A human eye behind the swirling, fantastic visions. Perhaps it is all a dream. Or the imaginative work of some very creative artists!

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

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

Swirly, curly, windswept clouds above San Diego!

The sun rises behind trees on Cortez Hill, in downtown San Diego.
The sun rises behind trees atop Cortez Hill, the neighborhood where I live in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday morning, just after sunrise, the clouds high above San Diego were absolutely amazing. They were delicate and windswept, like angels’ wings and painted dreams. The clouds were so swirly and curly, it seemed the wind knew not which way to go.

I took these photos during a short walk from Cortez Hill to Bankers Hill.

Eucalyptus trees at southwest corner of Balboa Park, beneath glowing, fantastic morning clouds.
Eucalyptus trees at the southwest corner of Balboa Park, beneath glowing, fantastic morning clouds.
Mother Nature put on quite a sky show for those who thought to look upward!
Mother Nature put on quite a sky show for those who thought to look upward!
Swirly, curly, windswept clouds high in the blue San Diego sky, like a delicate dream.
Swirly, curly, windswept clouds high in the blue San Diego sky, like a delicate dream.
Morning clouds above Bankers Hill make for a truly cool sight in San Diego, the beautiful place I call home!
Morning clouds above Bankers Hill make for a truly cool sight in San Diego, the beautiful city I call home!

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

Do you like these photos? I recently wrote an unusual, inspiring story that might touch you called One Strange, Shimmering Dream.  Click to read it!

A strange, shimmering dream takes flight.

Dandelion fluff. Seeds take flight.

I’ve published another very short story.  It can be read in just a few minutes.  It’s titled One Strange, Shimmering Dream.

Would you like to be inspired? You might enjoy reading it. Click here.

What is your dream?

Before I Die: chalk street art dreams in Hillcrest.

People walk down a Hillcrest sidewalk past chalk street art desires.
People walk down a Hillcrest sidewalk past chalk street art dreams.

Human dreams are wildly varied and ever-changing. I saw proof of this in Hillcrest. Dozens of desires have been documented at a street corner on University Avenue, written in chalk on what appears to be a very large chalkboard. People passing by have paused for a moment to write what they would like to accomplish before they die.

This dynamic neighborhood, just north of downtown San Diego, is youthful and worldly. Those who’ve chosen to contribute to this participative street art have listed many dreams. Some are crude, some are desperate, some are erased.  Some are possible, some are impossible.  Some are profound. The absurd and the serious mingle together. Some dreams are mere whims, other dreams are ambitious. Some are selfish, some are unselfish.

Before I die I want to... Hunt mud ducks. Feel I am worthy.
Before I die I want to… Hunt mud ducks. Feel I am worthy.
Save the world. Make love. Visit Paris. Meet my biological parents.
Save the world. Make love. Visit Paris. Meet my biological parents.
Publish a book. Drink one more drink.
Publish a book. Drink one more drink.
Find hidden treasure. Find Waldo.
Find hidden treasure. Find Waldo.
People walk toward Alibi as they review reasons for living.
People walk toward Alibi as they review reasons for living.

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