If you’ve dreamt of becoming an Olympian but aren’t quite going to make it, you can still get a glimpse into the life of the top American athletes at an USA Olympic Training Center. One site was strategically placed in Colorado – the mountain state, where the altitude and reduced oxygen supply push the Olympians’ bodies to peak performance. (Puns for days!) This Colorado Springs complex hosts facilities to train athletes in fencing, gymnastics, judo, taekwondo, swimming, shooting, weightlifting, wrestling and more – including a few Paralympic sports, as well.
During daily tours of the USA Olympic Training Center, you may see these Adonis-like creatures training, but even if not you will hear about their training routines and get to view the facilities. You can appreciate the length that Olympic swimmers furiously paddle across the swimming pool and how springy the gymnastic floor is to aid magnificent handsprings-flip-twist-aerial tumbling passes. If you don’t find athletes in their specific training sections, you may see them lifting weights in the standard gym or spy them re-fueling in the cafeteria.
In addition to learning about prime American athletes, make sure to peruse the small museum area, dedicated to the history of the Olympics with a USA Olympics Hall of Fame.* You can imagine running with one of the torches from past USA-hosted games; picture the wind rushing through your hair and your muscles rippling gracefully as the “Chariots of Fire” song plays in the background. For young ones and those who have not traveled internationally often, even seeing the Olympic flag, banners from other nations and the artwork on the grounds will be entertaining.
Colorado Springs is a fantastic area for outdoors activities, but if you need a physical break or the weather takes a turn for the worse, the USA Olympic Training Center is a worthwhile attraction. Go Team USA!
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*All information is correct at time of publication. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame will be moved to the U.S. Olympics Museum in 2018.
(US Olympic Museum)