Don’t be surprised if your neighbor is an Olympian or Paralympian—or at least when you cross paths with someone connected to the Olympic movement. This is Olympic City USA.
It’s home to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the Olympic Training Center (OTC), the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame (opening in early 2020), 24 sport national governing bodies, and many world-class athletes who are, have or are aspiring to represent our country at the Olympic Games. The Olympic Spirit is alive and well here, and it’s woven into the community in many ways.
“From schools holding Olympic Days to organizations hiring Olympic hopefuls, citizens get the opportunity to hear from athletes on a regular basis,” says Doug Price, co-chair of the Olympic City USA committee. “They can also go to the Olympic Training Center downtown and see athletes compete to make the team in Tokyo.”
In 2018, 45 Team USA athletes visited local schools community centers, organizations and youth sports programs. And 11,000 students participated in Olympic Day, celebrating the values of excellence, friendship and respect through athletic events.
It’s not only schools and businesses where locals rub shoulders with Team USA. More than 10,000 athletes each year train at the OTC, where they enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, technology and sports science programs. But we all share our favorite trails, gyms, restaurants and attractions with resident athletes and those visiting the OTC. From official venues, such as the OTC Velodrome and the World Arena Ice Hall to favorite parks and trails like Garden of the Gods and the Manitou Incline, the favorite cardio challenge of locals and Olympians alike.
Of course, even elite athletes need some recovery time too, so don’t be surprised to see them out on the town.
“Wait, people enjoy nights out when they are training?” says Sally Roberts, World Champion and Olympic wrestler. “I love me some Ivywild. If it’s allowed in my training, then I’m more than willing to enjoy bread and a nice Moscow mule.”
Come time for the actual Games, downtown becomes Olympics central. Tejon Street closes to traffic and plays host to festivals to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies. Attendees get to try Olympic skills, watch demonstrations, enjoy concerts, meet athletes and cheer the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. The Summer and Winter Games are always the height of the global Olympic movement, but there is always something going on in Colorado Springs to fuel the dreams of aspiring athletes and inspire the local community around the Olympic ideals. Welcome to Olympic City USA!
56 local athletes who competed in the Rio 2016 Games
2,100 locals employed by the Olympic and Paralympic movements
15,000+ athletes who train at the OTC each year
Team USA HQ
Colorado Springs is home to these Olympic National Governing Bodies:
US Figure Skating
USA Team Handball
USA Field Hockey
USA Bobsled / Skeleton
USA Table Tennis