- Cheer on the athletes April 8-10, 2022!
- Many of these athletes have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in past Paralympic Games.
- Parking details and map below.
In 2021, we had the opportunity to see some of our country’s top Para athletes compete in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park. Well, guess what? They’re returning in April – and we can’t wait to welcome and cheer on these inspiring men and women again.
The 2022 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open, presented by Toyota, is scheduled for April 8-10, 2022. There will be three days of racing this year, with Friday featuring something new for our city — handcycle team relays. This will pit nation against nation, racing around Big Spring Park downtown. Think U.S. vs. Canada, Mexico, and more — you don’t want to miss this! There will also be food trucks. It’s a great opportunity to come out and experience our vibrant downtown.
If You Go – Parking & Spectator Maps!
Friday Events Downtown
If you’re planning to come Friday evening, we strongly suggest you plan ahead about where to park, because April 8 will be a busy night in downtown Huntsville. We suggest you view our Spectator Guide & interactive map we’ve built – roads around Big Spring Park will close at 5pm to get ready for the races. Church Street, between both sides of Big Spring Park will close earlier (2 p.m.) to prepare the start/finish area. We suggest you avoid Clinton Avenue from I-565, due to several events at the Von Braun Center during the day Friday, and Friday evening. We suggest you come up Governors Drive to downtown and use one of the parking decks or parking lots that you would for a downtown event. Look for the Purple ‘P’ icons on our interactive map!
Saturday Events in Cummings Research Park
Saturday will feature time trials in Cummings Research Park, and Sunday will feature the road races, also in CRP. All three days of racing are open to the public and no tickets are needed. The events are rain or shine. The best place to park is Columbia High School, but you’ll need to come in from Slaughter Road, to Farrow Road, as Explorer Boulevard will be closed at 6 a.m. each morning to get the course ready. You can walk up from Columbia to Explorer – the Start/Finish line is located just in front of the school. You can also park at businesses on roads approaching CRP, including companies on Jan Davis Drive, Voyager Way, Discovery Drive, and Enterprise Way. Our Spectator Guide and this interactive map show some easy places to park, and we thank our CRP companies for offering their parking lots for the weekend!
Last year’s Para-cycling event was considered a qualifying race for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and was somewhat limited due to the pandemic. This year’s event is a C1 classification, open to international athletes. We expect 150-200 athletes and their families and support teams to attend, including athletes from around the United States, neighboring countries and possibly Europe.
“We are so excited to return to Huntsville,” said Ian Lawless, Director of U.S. Paralympics Cycling. “Last April, the entire community welcomed Team USA with open arms and rallied around us as we prepared for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. This year, we will be eyeing the 2022 World Para-cycling Road World Championships, and the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in Huntsville — this time with an international flair — will again be a key part of that journey.”
Many Para athletes who competed here last year did indeed go on to Tokyo. A few won medals for Team USA, including Oksana Masters (two golds), Shawn Morelli (gold, silver), Ryan Pinney (bronze), and Jill Walsh (bronze). Many of these athletes told our staff and volunteers they had an incredible visit to the Rocket City.
“We heard several times from the athletes about how friendly Huntsville was,” said Erin Koshut, Executive Director of Cummings Research Park. “They said we rolled out the welcome mat, they loved the weather and seeing the ‘green’ in the springtime, because many traveled from colder climates. They also loved the race route in CRP – they said it was challenging and well put together by the race planners.”
Toyota Alabama and Raytheon Technologies have signed on as local event sponsors for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open. We also thank the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Huntsville Sports Commission, Phoenix, and many additional community partners for their support.
Please check hsvchamber.org/paracycling and cummingsresearchpark.com/paracycling for updates leading up to race weekend. We look forward to seeing you there to cheer on the athletes! Bring a blanket, chairs, and cooler and make a day of it!
U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open Details
When: April 8-10, 2022
Cost: No tickets are needed – the event is free.
Where to Watch in Huntsville: Downtown Huntsville and Cummings Research Park
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About the Author, Claire Aiello: This vibrant local mom of two loves punny jokes, Wonder Woman, and gets to tell the world about Huntsville for a living as the VP of Marketing and Communications at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
As a hyper-local website focused on all aspects of parenting in and around Huntsville, AL, and the Tennessee Valley, Rocket City Mom occasionally asks local parents to submit their stories for publication. This is part of our continual effort to represent varied viewpoints and experiences on our site. However, these articles should not be seen as necessarily expressing the views of Rocket City Mom Media Group, LLC.