It’s My Park: Al Oerter Recreation Center


The number of world-class sports venues at
Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens keeps growing.
In early 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon on a brand new recreation center
here. It is named in honor of the legendary four-time
Olympian discus thrower and Queens native Al Oerter. Welcome to the brand new Al Oerter Recreation
Center. We have about 54,000 members that we’re servicing.
We’re just hoping to keep providing opportunity and programming to reach out to a number of
people in this community. I couldn’t wait until they finished it and
I’m glad they did. It’s basically top of the line from the equipment
down to the amenities. We have a cardio room.
Twenty-seven different machines. We have a weight room, a computer resource
room, 54-inch screens for instruction, multi-purpose room, an indoor track, gymnasium and a dance
studio. It’s a good place to come and enjoy yourself
and exercise, which is very important in this day and age. For me it’s great because I can just come
anytime and it’s free. It’s very affordable.
The staff is very friendly. Are you ready?
Yeah. I can’t hear you!
Are you ready? Yeah!
Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale. Exhale.
Do it again. Inhale.
March it out. Four counts up and four counts back.
March it out! The Al Oerter Recreation Center was dedicated
in honor of Al Oerter who was a discus thrower and a four time Olympian four time Olympian
champion which is pretty amazing and very difficult to do. It’s only appropriate that a great facility
like this be named for someone like him. He was a teammate of mine but he was also
a teammate of several others because he made four Olympic teams.
He was there before I came and he was there after I left. I am so proud to have this building named
after my husband because these kinds of facilities are so critical for the youth and just the
general population. It encourages them to get involved and it
introduces them to some of the things that will be very valuable to them in the future.
I work with children. I’m a truant officer so I know the problems
and anytime we can come up with something to help them it’s great. Al Oerter was born here in New York so we
just feel that he’s an exemplary person for this community. As a three year old he was actually at the
World’s Fair here in 1939. And so I’m sure he never thought as he was
tripping over the paths to get here that one day the building would be here in his name.
He would be honored. Hi I’m Kevin and Al Oerter Recreation Center
is in my park.

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