KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The action continues Sunday for the USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships but Saturday, athletes and many others took a break from the competition for Olympic Day.
It was busy at Safety City as East Tennessee kids and visitors carved their way through a course.
“Just being out here and just watching the kids have fun. Seeing them learn all the rules of the road and hear about the safety, they’re just having a great time,” Patti Mound said.
“We’re talking about little kids that are true cycling fans,” Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas said. “They know more about the athletes than some adults so it’s really fun to see them get on the bikes, ride the streets.”
Patti Mound lives in Texas but is in Knoxville to watch her son-in-law Lawson Craddock compete. She is impressed with Knoxville’s Safety City.
“I’ve actually been to one like this before but this one is like so much better,” Mound said. “It’s incredible. It’s got a lot more to it than I’ve seen.”
Saturday was the first time Olympic Day was hosted at Safety City. According to Bumpas, it’s up in the air if Olympic Day will be hosted at the same venue next year.
While kids peddled, they also had the opportunity to meet some of the athletes participating in this year’s cycling events.
Champion cyclist Coryn Labecki said, “I was a shy little kid before too and I guess people can be intimidated but kind of try to get on their level and show them it’s okay. And I hope we can give them an example to follow down the road.”
Olympic Day is a partnership between USA Cycling and Visit Knoxville. Bumpas said it was a success and the excitement is building for the Sunday races.