World champion racers have come from across the country to help Rock Hill debut its BMX Supercross Track on Saturday.
“For Rock Hill to invest what they have – in not only a professional venue, but one for the local riders to hone their skills – is not likely to happen many places,” said Donny Robinson, 31, a three-time BMX world champion.
Robinson, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who calls Napa, Calif., home, said the sport wants to maintain its small-town, grassroots identity as it grows into an Olympic sport.
Rock Hill’s track is the only Olympic-caliber facility on the East Coast, and it is one of only a few like it in the country.
The Rock Hill track’s star-studded grand opening will feature other big names in BMX racing, including Australian Caroline Buchanan, a six-time world champion; and Colombian Mariana Pajon, who holds more than a dozen world titles and the 2012 Olympic gold medal.
“We’ve built a world-class facility, which will boost the city’s tourism,” said Mike King, Rock Hill’s BMX supervisor. “We also get to develop interest in the sport for newcomers. We get kids who have never seen this sport, and we give them an opportunity to experience this world-class facility and enhance the sport.”
The BMX Supercross Track already has attracted major events, including:• The USA BMX Eastern Division Gold Cup Finals in October.
• The 2015 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Finals.
• The 2017 UCI BMX World Championships.
The city-owned track is a $7 million addition to the Rock Hill Outdoor Center at Riverwalk, a public-private development off Cherry Road near Interstate 77.