Heavy lifting wasn’t the only action taking place today as Armed Forces Entertainment HEAVY Medal Tour III helped usher in the Grand Opening of the new Charles King Fitness Center at Navy Base Guam.
Two-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medalist, Nelson Carmichael; two-time Olympian Kaylin Richardson and three-time Olympian Caroline Lalive traveled nearly 4,000 miles to share in the special day with America’s heroes.
The ceremony consisted of opening remarks by Naval Base Guam’s, Navy Facilities Engineering Commander Captain Peter Lynch; Naval Base Guam’s Executive Officer, Commander Kevin Gillman and Base Command Master Chief John Lawry. With the yellow ribbon cut, the day-long festivities went into full force.
“It is an honor to be a part of such as special day,” said Nelson Carmichael. “Being so far away from the US Mainland, it’s such as huge morale builder to have a state-of-the art fitness complex like this.”
The new $54 million fitness center includes an 8,000 sq. foot fitness room featuring the latest equipment, basketball courts, multi-purpose rooms, Olympic-size pool with youth splash pad and interactive water toys, racquetball courts, martial arts rooms, dedicated family fitness room, dance studio, blue jacket synthetic turf field surrounded by a six-lane track and a running trail.
Members of Heavy Medal III welcomed troops and their families in the morning sharing stories from the Olympics, athletic training, teamwork and showing off US Ski Team memorabilia from past Winter Olympic Games.
The competition got heavy as Richardson teamed up as part of the weightlifting competition with the winner pumping out 40+ presses in a matter of minutes. Later that morning, the Olympic trio sat down to judge the craziest basketball shot contest, entertaining kids of all ages as they put their best foot forward and hopefully the ball in the hoop.
“These kids were so jazzed to participate and show their crazy basketball tricks off,” said Richardson. “I never thought I could be so proud to be an American. But being a part of today’s events and seeing these families making a difference so far away from home was a very special moment and something I will remember forever.”
Later that day, training skills were put to the test as athletic prowess went head-to-head against the kids’ mental determination during a hula-hoop contest where twin girls wore down Lalive and Richardson in a matter of minutes.
The battle moved to the inflated ‘Boot Camp’ course with kids showing athletes how to negotiate the obstacle course. The main event in the Boot Camp competition featured superstar athletes, Lalive and Richardson, battling down to the final few steps of the 400-foot long race. Carmichael ran the course shortly after the ladies in the same fashion as he used to annihilate Olympic Mogul Runs.
Lalive summed up the day perfectly, “The moment we stepped in the building, we instantly became a part of this special family of Americans dedicated to serving our country in far off locations around the world. And in the end, isn’t that all it’s really about, taking care of our family.”