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Punta Gorda hosts BMX USA National Qualifiers

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 22:12:22-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Carmalita Park in Punta Gorda transformed into a hub of high-flying action this Friday afternoon, as it hosted the BMX USA National Qualifiers, following earlier events in Sarasota County.

The park echoed with the sounds of intense competition and excitement, as racers from across the country converged for a shot at glory.

Charlotte BMX President Amanda Carr highlighted the tremendous effort involved in organizing such an event and its significant impact on the local community.

"All of our volunteer crew, we brought in 8-10 of these events, so it's close to about $20 million dollars of economic impact in the past 14 years in Charlotte County," Carr stated.

With more than 600 racers of varying ages and approximately 2,500 spectators filling the stands, the event not only showcases exceptional talent but also turns Charlotte County into a destination for the weekend.

Among the competitors was Hugo Svikss who's family traveled all the way from California to compete in the event. The Punta Gorda Visitor Convention Bureau estimates around 800 hotel room nights booked by visitors like Hugo and his family.

Local talent shone brightly too, with Charlotte County native Cody Young, who at 11 years old is a two-time National BMX Champion and a second-place finisher in the World Championship for his division, sharing insights into his success. "You gotta have a good mindset, to be a good rider," Young said, emphasizing the importance of dedication and training.

The ultimate goal for many competitors is to advance to the Nationals in Tulsa, which is still 10 months away.

The event, free to enter, continues through Sunday, with parking fees. For the hundreds of participants, it's not just about competition; it's an opportunity to elevate their skills to the next level.