On Monday, a sea of red, white and blue jerseys worn by cheering children and adults filled Winthrop Coliseum.
It was one of many scenes of joy and teamwork this week as Rock Hill welcomes riders for the 2017 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) BMX World Championships. Racing begins Tuesday.
More than 1,000 riders filled an entire section of the coliseum during Team USA’s orientation, and their voices echoed with chants of “USA! USA! USA!”
“We’re going to come home with a lot of titles this week,” Team USA coach Carley Young said.
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We’re going to come home with a lot of titles this week.
Carley Young, Team USA coach
The riders were reminded that they represent not only their local tracks, sponsors and teams, but the entire country.
“You are part of something special this week,” said John David, chief executive of USA BMX.
City officials expect the world championships to draw about 20,000 spectators and about 3,500 competitors. The championships kicked off Saturday with food trucks, live music, BMX stunts and children’s rides in downtown Rock Hill.
This is the first year the UCI BMX World Championships have been in the U.S. since 2001, when they were held in Kentucky.
Local leaders hope to continue attracting riders to Rock Hill to train and compete, said Sig Huitt, co-chair of the Rock Hill race committee.
“We look forward to the first Olympic BMX person to be from Rock Hill,” Huitt said.
Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said with its mountain bike trails and numerous sports venues, the city is becoming a recreational hub. He said Rock Hill’s sports venues have brought more than 1.3 million visitors to the area in the last 15 years.
“Rock Hill will be the only place in the world that has that much cycling and cycling enthusiasts concentrated in one space,” Echols said. “We want to be a leader in amateur sports tourism.”
Rock Hill will be the only place in the world that has that much cycling and cycling enthusiasts concentrated in one space.
Doug Echols, Rock Hill mayor
Competition at the BMX World Championships includes five days of racing – July 25-29 – at the Riverwalk track. There are cash prizes and trophies for championship winners.
Visit rockhillSCbmx.com for more information.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082
S.C. legislators invited to York County
South Carolina legislators will gather in Rock Hill for a luncheon on July 26 during the BMX World Championships.
The legislators will be in the area for the Council of Chambers of York County’s annual York County Day. Normally hosted in Columbia, it is the first time in 29 years the event will be in Rock Hill, giving the legislators a chance to interact with local business leaders.
The Council of Chambers of York County includes Greater Clover, Greater York, Lake Wylie and the York County Regional Chambers of Commerce.
York County Day is from 12 to 2 p.m. at the BMX track, 1307 Riverwalk Parkway.