Broad surfaces of engineering thermoplastics provide footing for field hockey and track hopefuls at the first warm-weather Olympic training center built from the ground up in the United States. Contenders in six sports hone their skills at the newly opened complex in Chula Vista, Calif., in preparation for the 1996 summer games, set for July 19 to Aug. 4 in Atlanta.
Southwest Recreational Industries' Astroturf Industries Inc. unit in Dalton, Ga., manufactured more than 26,000 pounds of nylon 6/6 to cover the 70,000-square-foot field hockey surface, said Jim Savoca, vice president of sales. Uniroyal Technology Corp.'s Ensolite Division in Mishawaka, Ind., made the underlying pad of 0.375-inch, PVC nytrile rubber, closed-cell foam that absorbs shocks. A pitched asphalt subsurface drains off the cannon-distributed water that minimizes players' surface burns.
Martin Surfacing Inc. of Hunt Valley, Md., produced more than 400,000 pounds of polyurethane and styrene rubber butadiene to apply a one-half-inch surface to the 400-meter track's 136,000 square feet, ``probably three times as large as a normal facility,'' said Scott Antonelli, project manager.
The oval has nine lanes, with an additional three in the straightaway and meets requirements of the International Amateur Athletic Federation. A series of specialized camps will draw track and field competitors.
In addition, the complex opened for archery, canoe/kayak, rowing and soccer contenders. After more financing and construction, it will host athletes competing in volleyball, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, tennis, rowing, soccer and cycling.
The 154-acre site overlooks Lower Otay Reservoir and includes dormitories for as many as 170 athletes. Donated funds, land and materials total $65 million so far.
Other Olympic training centers are in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Lake Placid, N.Y.