The South Bay Family YMCA, the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center and the San Diego Olympians and Paralympians Association came together to host a National Olympic Day celebration on Friday, June 23, 2017.
The celebration was held at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center with over 50 YMCA campers participating in mock-Olympic games with eight Olympians, who are part of the San Diego Olympians and Paralympians Association.
The partnership with the YMCA and San Diego Olympians and Paralympians Association is new as the athletes recently branched-off from the Southern California Olympians and Paralympians Association to better connect with the San Diego community.
“We are excited to be able to spend time with these kids and share the message of what Olympic day is about. Sharing our experiences and journey hopefully will help motivate the next generation of athletes,” said Erin Aldrich-Shean, president of the San Diego Olympians and Paralympians Association and a former track and field Olympian.
Through this new partnership, the YMCA campers were able to spend more time with the Olympic Athletes than in past years. They also participate in various Olympic-themed sports and learned about the Training Center as part of this effort to promote fitness and well-being. The event was an ideal way for the Olympic athletes to connect and share their story with a younger generation to provide inspiration.
The Olympic ideals of friendship, respect and excellence are similar to the YMCA’s four character development values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, which made the partnership between these organizations a mutually beneficial opportunity to help the next generation of athletes thrive.