Nov 14 2011
As the world prepares for the 2012 Olympics in London, Americans can cheer on their team and learn how our Olympic athletes train by touring the Olympic Visitor Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The visitor center at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center is one of three facilities in the United States where our athletes train. From the Olympic countdown clock to the Olympic rings adorning the property, it’s hard not to feel some team spirit and patriotism at this facility.
Tours, which are free, are conducted year-round and begin in the visitor center lobby. After watching a brief yet inspirational film, tour guides show guests around the well-manicured grounds and into some of the training areas. We saw the indoor shooting range, visited with one of the wrestling coaches, saw the training gym and basketball courts, and peeked at the indoor pool where famous Olympians like Michael Phelps have trained. Our guide was excellent in answering questions about the life of a training Olympian. Some athletes stay only a short while and some have lived on the site for several years.
Following the guided tour, guests are welcome to enjoy the grounds on their own, and our kids enjoyed standing on the medal platforms and taking turns “winning” the gold medal.
Back inside, there’s a room with an Olympic Hall of Fame that tells the stories of some of the athletes, and our girls tried the various statuary skating poses.
The floor is painted with Bob Beamon’s record-breaking long jump from the 1968 Olympics. Would you believe that Beamon would have jumped over our entire family, stretched out head to toe? (I know this because we tried it.)
The Olympic store is a treasure trove of Olympic merchandise, and we each found a special souvenir there.
The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center was one of our favorite Colorado stops, and the free admission makes it accessible to anyone who is in the are and wants to learn more about our Olympic team.