By Alfredo Bustamante, 2L, CSLP Fellow
On Friday, September 12, 2014, Sports Law Fellows and other guests from Thomas Jefferson School of Law toured the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.
The tour began at the Visitor’s Center with an overview of the history and purpose of the training center. The Chula Vista Center is the first to be master-planned from the ground up and was a gift to the U.S. Olympic Committee from the San Diego National Sports Training Foundation.
After the introduction, tour guests divided into two groups and began the journey on the mile-long Olympic Path. Currently resting on 155 acres, the Center is home to sport venues and support facilities for archery, beach volleyball, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rugby, soccer, tennis, track & field, triathlon, and cross-training for various winter sports.
While on the tour, Fellows and guests were privileged to observe a couple of BMX riders practicing on one of three state-of-the-art BMX tracks at the Center. For those who had never seen the sport live, it was a real treat to watch the athletes race through the course and complete amazing jumps in the process.
Along with training facilities for their respective sport, the Center also offers athletes housing, dining, local transportation, recreational facilities, athlete services and professional development programs. Although some areas were off limits, tour guests got to see the dormitory buildings where the athletes stay while they train, the dining hall, and the strength/conditioning center. Guests also got a view of the ropes course on site, where athletes will occasionally train with Navy Seals.
The last stop on the tour was the archery range, which is the biggest outdoor archery range in North America. This particular range happens to be where actress Jennifer Lawrence prepared for “The Hunger Games” movies, learning to shoot from local U.S. Olympic archer Kristin Braun.
The tour wrapped up with a closing video at the Visitor Center and a visit to the Team USA Shop. The video, highlighting iconic U.S. Olympic moments from the past, was a perfect ending to a great tour and demonstrated how hard athletes train.
“I enjoyed learning about how athletes from all over the country train and prepare to represent our country in the Olympics and other international sports competitions,” said Nick Spigner, a 1L Sports Law Fellow. “The tour was a great and I’m glad I was able to have that experience.”