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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- BMX action is flying into Louisville as organizers plan to hold two of its championships here. USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals kicked off at E-P Tom Sawyer State Park Friday morning.
Officials say the event will be held in Louisville for at least the next two years. The event has been held in Louisville since the 1980s.
And a new series -- Derby City Nationals -- will be held during the winter at the Kentucky Expo Center from 2013 through 2015.
That means an economic impact of at least $9 million.
"BMX has a long history in Louisville," noted Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission. "The National Bicycle League hosted the Grand Nationals in our community for 25 years. With its recent merger with the American Bicycle Association, forming the USA BMX, the decision to continue to bring championship events is especially exciting. We are thrilled to have been chosen by USA BMX to continue to host the Bluegrass Nationals and the new Derby City Nationals."
The 2012 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals will be held August 31 through September 2 at E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. Athletes expected to compete include:
- Olympic Gold medalist, Maris Strombergs (Latvia)
- Olympic Silver medalist, Sam Willoughby (South Australia)
- New Zealand Olympic Team Member, Marc Willers
- 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Donny Robinson
- U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist Connor Fields
- U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist Alise Post
The USA BMX Derby City Nationals will take place on February 8-10, 2013, in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The facility's ability to hold indoor BMX events at a championship level was an important component of Louisville securing the event. Louisville is the third and final stop of this new event, which will also be held in Reno, Nev., and Tulsa, Okla.
This weekend's competition started Friday and continues through Sunday.