Whether you’re new to San Diego or have been a longtime resident, your family has to check out the incredible perk that’s right in our own backyard: the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Located in Chula Vista, this state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the development and performance of America’s future Olympic athletes. And you can tour it for free.
Photo credit: John M via Yelp
The Center offers free year-round guided tours by actual Olympic athletes, or self-guided tour that let you take in the sights through a map with points of interest. As one of only three official Olympic Training Centers in the country, it boasts 155 acres of venues and support facilities for Olympic sports like archery, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and triathlon.
Photo credit: Lee D via Yelp
The guided tour offers you and your kids a chance to check out the different tracks and fields where athletes train, tour the cafeteria, weight training room, and the athlete housing facilities. Even though more than 4,000 athletes a year go to the complex for coaching and training, their schedules are largely based on their seasonal sports so you’re not necessarily guaranteed to see your favorite gold medalist out and about. But you are guaranteed an educational lesson about the history of the Olympics, seeing where the training magic happens, and learning more about the Olympic process.
A Place for Youth and Community
The facility also serves local youth and community groups, so check out their Upcoming Events Calendar if you’d like to watch student-athletes and coaches use the Center for clinics and competitions.
In addition to benefiting thousands of Olympic hopefuls, the facility also serves local youth and community groups. So not only can your kids get to see Olympic athletes perfecting their craft, they can also watch student-athletes and coaches use the Center for clinics and competitions.
Photo credit: John M via Yelp
Keep in mind that the majority of the tours take place outdoors. Comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and water are a good idea. And allow time during your visit to go into the Olympic Store where you can buy Team USA apparel and memorabilia (tip: only Visa is accepted).
Guided Tours: Sat., 11 a.m., walk-in only
Tours are approximately 1-hour, and start with a short video presentation at the Visitor Center. The tour includes an overview of the history and general facts about the Chula Vista facility. There is a maximum of 50 people for the walk-in tour. If your group has more than ten people, they ask that you call at least two weeks in advance to reserve a weekday tour.
Self-Guided Tours: Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to take a walk down the mile-long Olympic Path. Maps with points of interest are available at the Visitor’s Center.
Educational Group Tours: Offered on varying days and times
Tours are available for groups, teams, and students in second grade and above. There must be at least one adult per 10-15 children (depending on ages). Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance and are subject to availability. Great idea for a school field trip!
U.S. Olympic Training Center
2800 Olympic Parkway
Chula Vista, Ca
Have you visited the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
– Krista Morgan