MILTON, ON – A new building for the 2015 Pan Am Games could be the start of a legacy for the people of this area.
This new state of the art cycling facility will be one of a kind not only in Ontario, but Canada as well.
It will feature a 250-metre timber track, fitness centre, a studio for yoga and similar exercises, a walking/jogging track, three multi-purpose gymnasiums and a bike shop.
“Everything starts with a dream,” said Curt Harnett, Canadian Olympic cyclist, on the site of the new velodrome last Friday.
In his speech at the ground-breaking event in Milton, Harnett talked about the legacy this building could have for the community, but he was also excited about the support being received for this project.
“One the exciting things for me about what the Pan Am/ParaPan Am Games are bringing to the Greater Golden Horseshoe is the significant investment by all three levels of government,” said the three-time Olympic medallist.
“It’s bringing significant investment into new sports facilities that we just have not seen and really there has been limited impetus for.”
“The diversity of the types of facilities that we’re going to create that are going to be long lasting legacies to the communities that there are in [including] the Greater Horseshoe as a whole and Canada as a whole.”
Mayor Gordon Krantz was also excited about what this type of facility can provide for his town of Milton.
“It certainly puts us a little more on the world stage, it definitely does that,” said Krantz. “Did we do it just for recognition? That’s part of it I guess, to be very honest with you, but of course having the only facility in Canada as well.”
Krantz, who is a firm believer in physical fitness and being active, believes this velodrome will be beneficial to Move More Milton, a community initiative designed to encourage people to be active through all sorts of exercises from cycling to jogging.
“This is just one more little piece in the puzzle as I refer to it in making sure we stay active here,” said Krantz.
“Give the community, not only the Milton, the Halton community but of course the Greater Toronto Area this facility here. I know it will be well used.”
Olympian cyclist Steve Bauer, who was also in attendance, also knows what this velodrome can do for the surrounding community and the legacy it will create.
“It comes down to the multi-sport facility that the community can be involved in right to the high performance track athlete,” said Bauer, silver medalist at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
“It’s that whole spectrum of use for the community versus high performance athlete which has been addressed and that’s legacy.
“Engaging the community, engaging young people, engaging masters, engaging sporting events, maybe concerts and other events that can happen.
“That this going to be here for the next 50 years and we have tremendous success.”
When the velodrome is completed, the legacy will commence, providing memories that will last for generations.
“We certainly hope to produce a world champion out of this facility here in Milton,” said Krantz.