At Embry-Riddle’s track and field facility, you’ll usually see our talented women’s and men’s teams training for their next meet. Both teams are having a great year, with the women’s team ranked No. 1 and the men’s team ranked No. 4 in the NCAA II South Region. But this week they are also sharing the track with Olympic athletes from Canada who are here training on our world-class track.
With their eyes set on the gold, Canadian athletes hoping to compete in the world championships and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics are training at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for the fifth consecutive year.
The Athletics Canada team is in Daytona Beach through Sunday with 26 athletes, including world champions and Paralympic medalists, training on Embry-Riddle’s top-of-the-line Mondotrack surface, which has been used on the tracks at numerous Olympic games, including London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
According to the manufacturer, the Mondo Super X prefabricated synthetic rubber track surface is composed of two different layers vulcanized together. The rubber-based top layer provides elasticity and helps boost an athlete’s performance.
“It’s a fast track and that’s what we like,” said Canadian athlete Diane Roy, who has been competing for 26 years, including six Paralympics and six world championships. She’s received numerous medals, including two silver medals in the 2004 Athens Paralympics and one silver and two bronze in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
The Canadians enjoy not only the fast nature of the track but the convenient location near Daytona Beach International Airport and hotels. Some athletes will also be competing in the Commonwealth Games in April in Australia.
“It’s a great track and the Embry-Riddle crew here looks after us. It’s a very comfortable environment,” said Paralympic medalist Rick Reelie, Athletics Canada Wheelchair Event Coach.
The warmer Florida weather is also a big plus compared to the frigid Canadian weather this time of year, the athletes noted.
You can watch the Paralympians training at our track and field facility in the morning and early afternoons through Sunday.
The Eagles’ next home track meet is the Embry-Riddle Spikes Classic, April 6 and 7.
ABOUT EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.