Traverse City, Michigan
March 4, 2003
The USOTC sits on a former Air Force base and headquarters of the North American Defense Command. Today, the facilities include: a state-of-the-art sports medicine and sport science center and an athlete center, which includes a dining hall and two residence halls. The USOTC is able to provide housing, dining, recreation, and other services for up to 557 coaches and athletes.
Being a sports nut myself and having several kids who love sports too, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the center. As we were touring, we ran across many olympians and hopeful future olympians. While in the Sports Center, we were just feet away from Olympic Gymnast, Amanda Borden, who was spending time with some younger athletes. It was fascinating to watch the interactions between this world class athlete and the young hopefuls.
I would suggest you begin your visit at The Olympic Visitor Center, which can provide you with all the information about this Training Center, the US Olympic Committee, other US Olympic Training Centers, and the Olympic Movement. The Visitor’s Center is host to the US Olympic Hall of Fame, an indoor reception area, Olympic retail store, and a 225-seat auditorium.
Check the program schedule and be sure to catch any films about the US Olympic Programs and Athletes.
The book section in the store provides many quality resources and the most up-to-date research on athletic topics like: nutrition, fitness, motivation, the psychology of sports, sport specific training, etc. We bought several titles.
The free public tours are conducted daily on a year-round basis by the USOC Tour Program staff (who are very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful). The tour includes a walk along the Irwin Belk Olympic Path, and visits to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame rotunda and roof-top terrace with an Olympic flame display, which offers panoramic views of the entire complex and beautiful Colorado Springs. While you are walking around, your guide is likely to quietly point out the athletes that he/she knows. But remember to be sensitive to these athletes, as they are here for training and not to be the focus of tourists’ pictures. Hint: Take your pictures on the “sly” and don’t ask them to pose for you!
If anyone in your party has a thought of competing in a sport at a high level, this visit may ignite that spark which will propel them to the next level. But remember, the drive to compete must come internally from the athlete and not externally from mom or dad.
To help you learn more about the Center before you arrive, I’d encourage you to click on this link to their website Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.
Or, contact the Center in one of these ways: United States Olympic Training Center, One Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909-5760, TEL: (719) 632-5551, or FAX: (719) 866-4654.
From journal CO Springs - Natural Beauty and Human Achievement