Rock Hill has enjoyed a growing reputation as an amateur sports Mecca, and the city recently proved it by hosting the BMX (bicycle motocross) world championship competitions. Men, women and children came from across the globe to compete, and the event drew 3700 riders and 20,000 spectators from 48 countries.
The city went all out to be hospitable to its visitors, and it succeeded in creating a great impression. Men's world champion Corben Sharrah of the USA noticed Rock Hill's emphasis on sports and the ease of participating. Lana Shelton brought her 7-year-old son from Zimbabwe to compete, and commented on the area’s deep-fried Southern foods and large portions.
Even locals turned out, with David Meeler and his wife bringing their children to see people from around the world, and enjoy watching a sport they might someday participate in. City Communications Manager Katie Quinn was amazed that people from Australia and France and Russia were crossing the seas to vacation in Rock Hill, S.C. But the millions in economic benefits to the area are evidence of Rock Hill's success, and Quinn says some people are already talking about applying to get the championship race back in a few years.